Prestigious science council recognises and rewards Oriel Science

Professor Chris Allton has been made a Leadership Fellow in Public Engagement by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC.

Professor Chris AlltonProfessor Chris Allton, Oriel Science Director and Particle Physicist at Swansea University, has been made a Leadership Fellow in Public Engagement by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)-the world-leading, multidisciplinary science organisation with a clear mission: to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and to the world.

‌At the start of 2017 STFC launched their new fellowship scheme in a bid to champion public engagement between inspirational researchers and their academic communities. Professor Allton, from the Physics Department in the College of Science, is being recognised for his commitment and contribution in engaging with the public, as well as the positive influence he has with colleagues as a strategic leader in this area.

The STFC awarded the most talented and inspirational researchers with a passion for engagement, and Professor Allton was one of only three academics to receive this accolade. The fellowship will consequently allow him to strengthen the public engagement capacity of his colleagues across both campuses at Swansea University.

Professor Allton, said: “I am very excited and honoured to receive this fellowship and would like to pay tribute to all my colleagues in the Oriel Science team who have contributed so much to this important public engagement project. I’m looking forward to helping Swansea University fulfil its civic responsibilities by showcasing its research to the public, explaining how their taxpayers’ money is spent and how our research can be used to impact and improve their lives. I’m also passionately keen to use Oriel Science to target those communities with poor uptake in science subjects and University participation.”

Oriel science header Furthermore, STFC have awarded Oriel Science with a Public Engagement Spark Award, presented only to those projects which undertake high quality programmes of novel public engagement that inspire and involve target audiences with stories of STFC science and technology. This grant was awarded to Drs William Bryan, Mary Gagen and Sarah Roberts, as well as Chris Allton. Since being founded in 2016 Oriel Science has been recognised widely as providing accessible, informative and interactive exhibitions, focusing on the work and collaborations of Swansea University’s STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine) community. 

Having already successfully run an 8-month pop-up venue in Swansea’s city centre, the team at Oriel Science will be using the grant to develop a new exhibition, allowing them to showcase topical and exciting areas of research to help feed the public’s desire to learn more about science, and inspire younger people to take STEMM subjects at school and University.