A Day in the life of a Science Communicator


©City of Newcastle

Aileen Atkins and Roy Bearpark, Learning Officers at the Discovery and Great North (formerly Hancock) Museums respectively, gave an enlightening talk on what their jobs entail.

Aileen had a passion for museums from childhood and started volunteering in them at 13yrs. She went on to study Industrial Archaeology and History, and a Masters in Museum Studies. Roy always loved science, and so studied Forensic Science and a PGCE. After teaching for 2yrs, he got a job at the then Hancock Museum and the rest is history (pun intended).

They have varied responsibilities and have to keep abreast of everything happening in the museums; this means they attend loads of meetings. They manage learning budgets and organise workshops and exhibitions for all age groups. They also deal with families and the tens of thousands of school children that visit yearly.

Aileen stressed the need for versatility and intergenerational communication skills, whilst Roy added that relationship building with teachers and other museum teams was very important. Also, he had to be prepared for anything e.g. schools turning up at the door leaving him scrambling to organise activities for the kids.

I firmly believe that museums are very important and Councils should fund them, but sadly due to recent Council funding cuts, they have increasingly taken on funding advocacy roles.

There are placements and volunteering opportunities available at both museums, so if you’re interested, unlike me, that can help you get your foot in the door.

Till next time, Cheers.

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One Response to A Day in the life of a Science Communicator

  1. vanarm says:

    good review, what did you think of their line of work? Is tehre a need for such centres and who should fund?

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