BSW2017Today marks the launch in the UK of British Science Week, a celebration of science, a chance for local institutions to celebrate their science and their contribution towards a better society. It may be an occasion for a science festival (many of the UK science festivals take place in towns & cities around the UK during Science Week) and it is certainly an occasion to raise the profile of STEM within our schools and colleges.

Only a week or so ago the country celebrated #worldbookday with schoolchildren around the UK going to school dressed as their favourite character from a book – characters from Roald Dahl, Dickens and fairytales abound, but why don’t great scientists get celebrated at the same time ? After all without a more literate society the great works of literature will not be appreciated, let alone a science textbook be opened and appreciated and new discoveries realised.

It would be great if #BritshScienceWeek attained the same level of interest as #worldbookday and the idea of science as central to our everyday lives became commonplace. #scichallenge2017 is an opportunity to promote such a reality. It offers a chance for the creative mind to celebrate science – to create some type of presentation based upon a contemporary science topic and demonstrate the impact of this area of science upon people’s everyday lives.

A discussion today on local radio demonstrates the power of the internet in young people’s lives. #slime has gathered in excess of 2 million hits with young people creating and sharing their own slime recipes and sharing these and trying to get ‘one up’ on the latest submission from their peers (a scientific ‘ice bucket challenge’ so to speak). This is the reality of the world occupied by today’s young people.

#scichallenge2017 is aiming to capture this enthusiasm for digital media whilst linking it to social media and I hope that in the next 50 days or so your own imagination and creativity is stirred, and that you feel motivated to submit an entry demonstrating your creativity and interest in contemporary science and its impact on your life. This needn’t be a big task. Perhaps you have the material already, upload it and share.