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04 January 2008
Science educator Wendy Sadler has won a national award in recognition of her passion for promoting acoustics to school students and the general public through music.
Wendy, director of University spin-out company ‘science made simple’ has been awarded the Institute of Acoustics’ Award for Promoting Acoustics to the Public.
The Award, an engraved glass trophy, will be presented at the Institute’s spring conference in April 2008.
It is the latest in a series of awards for Wendy and her business, which promotes science to the public and was formed as a spin-out from the School of Physics and Astronomy in 2002.
Earlier this year, she was awarded the Descartes Prize from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research - regarded as the ultimate accolade for those involved in communicating science. A former Welsh Woman of the Year (science and technology), Wendy is also chair of WISE in Wales (Women Into Science, Engineering and Construction).
An accomplished musician, Wendy often uses musical demonstrations to bring the shows to life. These include performing the Last Post on a corrugated tube, and making strange, vaguely musical, sounds from a dustbin and a bucket.
She said: "Acoustics is a fascinating area of study and one that has a fundamental impact on many aspects of our everyday lives. I am delighted that I am able to use music as the main theme to encourage young people in particular to think more about the science of sound and hopefully generate an interest later in life to consider acoustics as a possible career."
Colin English, President of the Institute said: "Through live presentations, TV appearances, popular articles, children’s books and through the training of the next generation of science communicators, Wendy has promoted the science of sound to many thousands of people from diverse backgrounds over the last 11 years. This makes her a worthy winner of the Promoting Acoustics to the Public Award."
‘science made simple’ uses a range of innovative methods to communicate the message that science is something everyone can enjoy. As well as its core work of delivering spectacular and entertaining shows such as Cartoon Science and Bubbles and Balloons in schools, the team has contributed to science television programmes on ITV, BBC and Channel 4, 19 children’s books and regular radio appearances. The company also provides consultancy to the Research Councils and training to scientists, and has broken new ground in offering career opportunities in science communication.
This is the second year of the Award for Promoting Acoustics to the Public. It was introduced because noise has moved increasingly on to the public agenda.
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