Physics Communicators Group

This is an IOP special interest group, which is a community of IOP members focused on a particular discipline, application or area of interest. Special interest groups allow members to connect and share knowledge and ideas. The IOP funds groups to deliver a range of activities including events, prizes and bursaries. All of our groups are driven by members.

About the group 

As a special interest, member-driven group, we promote physics with networking, activities and public engagement.

Our aims are to:

  • bring the community of physics communicators together, both amateur and professional, and work to expand our community
  • support members who run outreach and physics communication activities to help understanding and public engagement
  • identify, understand and share good practice for career professional development, workshops and mentoring
  • offer opportunities to share information and resources through networking, newsletters, conferences and meetings
  • promote and support physics communication with members, other Institute members, the Institute of Physics, other organisations, and the media

What the group does

We raise the profile of physics with high quality events, activities and public engagement resources.

Would you like to join this group?

Group physics prizes and competitions

Early Career Physics Communicator Award

The prize is for people at the start of their physics careers who organise activities to support and encourage excellent communication of physics. 

The prize:

  • recognises the work of the winner and runners up
  • supports networking opportunities for shortlisted finalists

The prize is £250 and a certificate. The winner is announced at an award event.

To be nominated you will:

  • be resident in the UK or Ireland 
  • be currently engaged in postgraduate physics study
  • have completed a bachelor or master’s first physics degree less than five years ago

You do have to be a member of the Institute.

Your submission will include:

  • a CV with brief details of academic physics work or study
  • a report of the communication activities of no more than 1,500 words
  • evidence of exceptional communication activities that encourages appreciation of or general understanding of physics
  • two referees with close knowledge of the work and communication activities. Referees are only contacted for shortlisted nominees
  • the written consent of the person who you are nominating

Local and international communication activities might include:

  • film
  • video
  • books
  • websites
  • lecturing
  • broadcasting
  • public outreach activities
  • magazines and newspaper articles
  • museum presentation and exhibit design

If you are shortlisted we would like you to:

  • be interviewed by the IOP
  • appear on our Institute website
  • attend the award event in person
  • appear in our Institute publications
  • provide an article for our newsletter 
  • give a ten minute presentation to show your physics communication skills

Winners

2018

Lána Salmon

University College Dublin. For highlighting opportunities in Irish physics, and making physics more exciting and accessible.

2017

Jasmin Evans

University of Central Lancashire. For space science and astronomy outreach events with visually-impaired children and adults. 

2016

Niamh Kavanagh

University College Cork. For engaging wide audiences with physics. 

2015

Dr Jessica Wade

For increasing recruitment and retention of women in science and outreach events for young women. 

Group events

Find group events on our events portal.

Newsletter

Useful links

  • Visit STEM Learning that creates opportunities to inspire young people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
  • Visit the STEM Ambassador programme that brings scientists and young people together in the classroom. Find information about your area contact and how to get a free Disclosure and Barring (DBS) check to carry out ambassador activities. You can also sign up online.
  • Visit Pythagoras’ Trousers, a radio show from the South Wales networks of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and Radio Cardiff. Each week, presenter Rhys Phillips looks at stories of interest from the worlds of science. There is also a link to podcasts of previous productions.
  • Visit the British Science Association that is the UK's open membership organisation with resources for science communication. Sign up as a member, explore opportunities and keep in touch with national science communication and outreach events.
  • Visit the Engineering Maths Science and Technology Association, which brings together professional institutions and individuals committed to promoting science, technology, engineering and maths in the east of England.
  • Visit the Science & Technology Facilities Council website that includes the gateway to research funds for STFC supported communication and outreach activities.
  • Visit I'm a Scientist Get Me Out of Here that contains an X-factor style competition. Students talk to scientists online for two weeks and vote for their favourite scientist, in a nail-biting science show down.
  • Visit Cafe Scientifique where, for the price of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, you can explore the latest ideas in science and technology. The events happen all over the country and are a great way to communicate your science to a friendly public audience. Find your local Cafe Scientifique to discover if it’s the communication opportunity for you. Email: CafeSci@anngrand.co.uk

Committee and contacts



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