Taking science to rich people

•November 8, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Its an obvious gap in the audience profile, right up there with pensioners who cant find a child to take them to a science centre and those elusive young adults. My chance came when word spread that I was doing science shows for kids in the local Scuola Elementaria. It reached a lady who was looking for something different to give her niece for her Birthday. She decided it should be me. No, I didn’t have to jump out of a cake but i did feel a little like something the cat brought in. Maybe its not going to be a major thread in my continuing work related active engagement portfolio but it may be an alternative to applying to grant schemes that have gone down the rabbit hole.


•November 8, 2010 • Leave a Comment

A truly extraordinary Conference, in fact it was often more like a Festival. The incredible Physics and Extreme Action by STREB. Odd tOdd the Science Animator, Arthur Giron on his “Drama’s found in the lives of scientists”, Samuel Zygmuntowicz of the Strad 3D project, one of the worlds greatest violin makers. Roald Hoffman Nobel prize winning chemist turned Science Cafe organiser. Maybe it could have been somewhere else but NY, but most of them had only traveled a block or two to attend. A truly mind blowing concentration of creativity.


Just off to New York. Conference is about Science and Performance [and Science Festivals]

•October 26, 2010 • 1 Comment

The title of my talk is: What’s not a Science Festival? A tentative taxonomy of a rapidly evolving genus. Content of three slides from the presentation below.

Continua for variables

•Key messages: celebration  < > examination
•Audience [s] targeted : children/families < > adults
•Venues used : public < > scientific
•Venue map: dense < >distributed
•Topics featured: old science < > contemporary science
•Programming team: scientists < > non-scientists
•Communication style: one way < > two way

University led or owned

•Key messages
•Audience targeted
•Nature of venues
• Venue map
Clustered …..|……Diffuse
•Topics featured
Old Science….|….New Science
•Responsibility for programming

•Communication mode
One way..|……..Two way

Municipally led or owned

•Key messages
•Audience targeted
Nature of venues
• Venue map
Clustered ..|……Diffuse
•Topics featured
Old Science……|..New Science
•Responsibility for programming
Scientists …….|..Non-scientists
•Communication mode
One way……|….Two way

The Frank Burnet Consultancy

•December 19, 2009 • 1 Comment

Over the last ten years I have developed  Masterclasses and a short concise handbook that is designed  to give scientists, technologists and engineers the skills they will need to communicate their work to the public. The combination has been very well received around the world and establishing my own Consultancy has been the trigger for my marketing it proactively for the first time. To discover more go to Communication Masterclasses and Why and how to communicate your research 

I have also provided numerous people with advice on how to establish and maintain a career as an effective science communicator. I also deliver workshops and supporting materials with that focus which I am also making more widely available through this site go to Communication Masterclasses and Taking Science to People 

I hope you find these materials useful and do not hesitate to contact me if you want further information at Frank.Burnet@gmail.com

Unforgettables 2009

•December 11, 2009 • Leave a Comment

–          Attending my first meeting of the Advisory Board for the Arctic Centre in Rovaniemi and hearing the Russian representative say “We must conserve this place; one day it may be our last refuge”

It was that experience that put climate change at the top of my list of professional priorities

–          Working in Saudi Arabia; they had a water list instead of a wine list; I never saw anything but the eyes of a key colleague and could never be in a room alone with her, but it was still possible to become good friends.

I never been to a stranger country, and I found many aspects of its treatment of women abhorrent, but I still came away feeling that King Faisal had quite unintentionally re-enforced my conviction that individuals are invariably stronger than systems, however oppressive

–          Holding my new granddaughter Emily

It was partly because she fell asleep. It’s more usual for babies I hold to behave like they have been handed to a bear

–          Learning to enjoy haggling with Turkish carpet sellers, although the lessons were expensive

I think the Actor got the better of the Scotsman. I was transformed from a wallet hugger to an

apple tea fuelled spendthrift


–          Discovering that even though he is 89, I still can’t beat my father at golf

His idea of a good shot is one that flies as straight as an arrow, mine is one that stays within the confines of the driving range

–          Loving the freedom of not working for an Institution.  It seems that I had served my time…

It’s been a great year, although it took me a while to stop thinking that every day was a Sunday and being surprised when all the shops were open


The deep end

•December 9, 2009 • Leave a Comment

It’s a cross between cold calling and jumping blindfolded off a highboard. It breaks all my rules, never communicate until you understand your audience. But here goes