We are the Reading Branch of the British Science Association, which is the UK’s nationwide, open membership organisation, providing opportunities for people of all ages to learn about and get more involved with science. Established in 1831, the British Science Association organises major initiatives across the UK, including the annual British Science Festival, British Science Week, regional and local events, and an extensive programme for young people in schools and colleges.
Meet our committee
Our branch committee members are a bunch of very enthusiastic people who love promoting and engaging the public in all things science.
Chair: Ceri Brenner
Ceri is a senior application development scientist at the Central Laser Facility, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, specialising in using the most powerful lasers in the world for applications in medicine through to manufacturing. Her first degree was in Physics at the University of Oxford before going on to complete a PhD in laser-plasma interaction physics with the University of Strathclyde in 2012 and she has since been based at the CLF. Ceri describes herself as ‘solution focused physicist, driven by a passion for contributing to society through applied physics and new technology’.
Ceri also enjoys public speaking and acting as a physics ambassador and is regularly invited to speak on BBC radio as well as to give public lectures across the UK on super intense lasers and their role in society. She is very keen to promote science and technology careers and regularly volunteers for outreach activities with the Institute Of Physics’ Stimulating Physics and Girls in Physics programmes as well as being a founding member of the ScienceGrrl initiative to show that ‘science is for everyone’.
A resident of central Reading, Ceri is looking forward to chairing the committee and hopes that her experience and contacts will continue the already excellent work of the branch in bringing science to life in and around Reading and open up opportunities to communicate science to new audiences.
Co-Chair: Katherine Cooper
Katie is an Impact Officer at the University of Reading where she specialises in supporting academics in the physical sciences. Her research background is in geosciences and she completed a PhD at the University of Bristol looking at microbial-water-rock interactions.
Once finishing this, Katie decided to devote her attentions to science communication and worked at We The Curious Science Centre in Bristol for a couple of years. Here she found her passion for public speaking and performing, which she continues to do with an immersive science communication group, Rising Ape Collective.
Katie is excited to join the British Science Association team and become more involved in the fantastic work they are doing to bring science to the wider community in Reading.
Secretary: Meghan Szypkowski
Meghan is a Science Teacher in Reading. She specialises in teaching Chemistry up to A-level. She obtained a degree in Medical Biochemistry from Leeds University before training to teach at Portsmouth University. She now works with the students at School to foster in them a lifelong interest in Science. At work she arranges events, meetings and activities for the students to encourage and motivate them to pursue Science. She joined the British Science Association team to foster an interest and support for Science to a wider scope of people.
Website: Kimberley Stirk
Kim is a Science Communications Officer at The Pirbright Institute, which involves telling the public about the viral research undertaken there. She does this through creating news stories and press releases, updating the website with new information, and coordinating Pirbright’s public engagement programme, encouraging people of all ages to get involved with science.
In 2014, Kim graduated from the University of Exeter with a degree in Biological Sciences and since then she has dedicated her career to communicating science and trying to inspire and enthuse those around her about the subject she is most passionate about. Kim joined the British Science Association to become involved in a wider community of scientists who want to bring a little more science to everyone.
Reading Science Week Co-ordinator: Carl Edwards
Treasurer: David Good
Social Media and marketing Co-ordinator: Sophie Morgan
How to support us
If you would like to support the Reading branch and help raise some vital funds at no extra cost for you when shopping online, please visit their easyfundraising page. It’s easy, it’s free, and you will even receive vouchers and special offers!