University of Leicester scientist awarded prestigious media fellowship
Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 6 August 2012
A University of Leicester scientist will be making headline news thanks to a prestigious media fellowship.
Dr Becca Wilson, a scientist involved in public and business engagement projects in the Space Research Centre at the University, has been given the opportunity to work at the Irish Times. She is one of ten scientists selected from 180 applicants to win a 2012 British Science Association Media Fellowship, the first to be held by the University of Leicester. Her three-week placement with the Irish Times in Dublin begins on Monday 13th August.
Becca works as a project scientist for the National Space Academy, collaborating with educators to use the context of space to teach the sciences to secondary school students and their teachers. She also works for the Space IDEAS Hub, an initiative that draws on over 50 years experience in space research at the University to assist regional businesses with their technological challenges.
Becca said, “I’m excited to have been given the opportunity to work at a broadsheet newspaper. It is a chance to gain first-hand experience of the processes involved in print media and to follow the paper trail of press releases that scientists like myself send out.
“Public understanding of space research is an important aspect of my job, through educational projects and social media. I think the British Science Association media fellowships offer a fantastic opportunity for scientists like myself to learn new communication skills from media professionals.”
“Working as a journalist , tracking down science stories through to writing the final article, will be a great insight into how to better communicate the wonderment of science and its relevance to our everyday lives.”
Notes to editors:
For more information, contact Dr Becca Wilson on firstname.lastname@example.org
Becca obtained an M.Sci. Geological Sciences from Imperial College London before moving to the Open University in 2004 to study for a Ph.D. in planetary sciences. In 2009 she joined the atmospheric group in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Leicester to conduct research into long-term trends of European near surface atmospheric pollutants. Becca moved into the Space Research Centre (SRC) in 2011, taking up the post of Space Academy project scientist and recently joined the Space IDEAS Hub team as a project scientist and communications officer.
Since joining the University of Leicester, Becca has developed and delivered research-related outreach across atmospheric chemistry, Earth observation, planetary and space sciences. This has included delivering workshops, talks, careers events and co-ordinating exhibition stands for the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Physics and Astronomy for a number of high profile science festivals, including providing interactive demonstrations of University space research for the UK Space Agency stand at the National Big Bang Fair 2012. Within the National Space Academy Becca continues to assist in the development of planetary science based student masterclasses and teacher CPD relevant to the secondary school science curriculum. Her wealth of experience in public engagement has led to selection as a science facilitator for the BBC Wallace and Gromit World of Inventions road show in 2010 and as a STEM role model for an HESTEM careers exhibit that was recently installed in the National Space Centre, Leicester.