We are the Thames Valley 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.
Our branch is based in Reading, where we organise events across the Thames Valley region. We run monthly Cafe Scientifique events in Reading and sponsor the Basingstoke Cafe Scientifique. As well as the popular Reading Café Scientifique series, the Thames Valley Branch also organises other events throughout the year. Each year the branch co-ordinates the programme for Reading Science Week which is part of British Science Week and runs in March.
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 an 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 the Thames Valley and open up opportunities to communicate science to new audiences.
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.
Cafe Sci Co-ordinators: Colin Forrestal and Kevin Pohill
Reading Science Week Co-ordinator: TBC
Social Media Co-ordinator: TBC
How to support us
If you would like to support the Thames Valley 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!