Two members of the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation were highly commended at the second SEPnet Public Engagement Awards last week. The awards recognise physicists across the South East region for their exceptional contribution to engaging the public with their research.
Dr Karen Masters, Reader in Astronomy and Astrophysics and ICG Outreach Coordinator, was highly commended in the Communication category. The Communication award recognises an individual’s ability to communicate their own research through different channels including broadcast media, writing for print or online journalism and public speaking. Dr Masters was nominated in recognition of the wide range of communication activities she participates in annually. Recent highlights have included interviews on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service, invited public talks for the Institute of Physics and the York Festival of Ideas, and numerous contributions to the ICG schools programme.
Third year PhD student Jimmy (Michael) Tarr was highly commended in the Newcomer category. This award recognises an individual who is new to engagement and have made an impact that could include any type of engagement activity or project linked to their research. Jimmy was nominated for his active contributions to the ICG outreach and public engagement programme, and his work on a strategic level as the PhD Student Outreach Rep in 2014/15. In particular, it was noted that one of Jimmy’s strengths has been in supporting ICG PhD students and postdocs to contribute to activities; he is particularly effective at encouraging people to participate in outreach and public engagement for the first time.