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Communicating science

07 September 2012

Nick Pidgeon

A Cardiff academic has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to promoting openness about science in society and increasing our understanding of the public’s engagement with science.

Professor Nick Pidgeon of the University’s School of Psychology is one of a small number of eminent individuals approved as Honorary Fellows of the British Science Association each year.

Honorary Fellowships are offered to those who have made a significant contribution to the aims of the British Science Association. The organisation promotes openness about science in society, between the public, policy makers and other decision-makers, and the scientific and business community; and aims to engage and inspire adults and young people directly with science and technology, and their implications.

Professor Pidgeon leads the interdisciplinary Understanding Risk group in the School of Psychology. Much of his work focuses on public engagement with and attitudes towards environmental and technological risk issues such as climate change and nuclear power.

During his career, Professor Pidgeon has contributed to nationally recognised work on public engagement with science through his pioneering use of deliberative methods, large-scale nationally representative surveys of public opinion and through area-based studies of risk perception and everyday life. He has also contributed to academic and policy work on risk communication at both UK and devolved government levels.

Speaking about his election as a Honorary Fellow, Professor Pidgeon said: "It was simultaneously a surprise and delight to be awarded this Honorary Fellowship by the British Science Association. This award of course also reflects a series of research collaborations with very many good colleagues over the past 15 years. In a world now facing the twin challenges of climate change and future energy provision, it is ever more important that the social sciences are fully involved in studying, communicating and fostering effective deliberation by society about the difficult choices that these issues now raise for us all."

Professor Pidgeon joins other eminent individuals who have been elected Honorary Fellows of the British Science Association including Sir David Attenborough, Professor Sir David King and Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell.

Established in 1831, the British Science Association organises major initiatives across the UK, including the annual British Science Festival, National Science and Engineering Week, programmes of regional and local events, and an extensive programme for young people in schools and colleges.

Related links

School of Psychology

Understanding Risk

British Science Association