Position: Head of Special Projects
Institution: Centre for Life, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Andy oversees exhibitions and festivals, from funding to delivery, as well as learning research and external collaborations. He has recently opened the “Experiment Zone”, a public laboratory that builds users’ sense of science identity, and is developing “Brain, Mind and Culture” for opening in spring 2016. This project will integrate live research and public engagement in a single exhibition. He is interested in the role of science centres in a post-web era, and people’s self-confidence and sense of identity in relation to science. He is working with researchers from the universities of Durham and Northumbria to uncover design factors in exhibits that link to social learning, creativity and innovation. In 2012 he led Life’s participation in the first International Science Centre Impact Study. Andy has worked in science communication for nearly 20 years, beginning as an Explainer at Eureka – The National Children’s Museum, in West Yorkshire. Moving to London for an MSc in Science Communication at Imperial College, he moved next door to join the Science Museum. Over 8 years he worked on several interactive exhibitions, both in-house and for commercial clients. He is a past Fellow of the Clore Leadership Programme (2007/8), joining colleagues from arts and cultural organisations. His Clore research study, “The Arts-like Science Centre” compared the operation and assessment of science centres with peers in the arts world. He was Chair of the British Interactive Group, a network of professionals working in science engagement, from 2011 to 2013. In 2013/14 he was a Fellow of the Noyce Leadership Institute, examining how science centres can become more engaged with their local communities.