I am very active in public engagement with science and scientific research. This inludes appearances in the media, work with schools and the general public. As Associate Director of Jodrell Bank Observatory I am responsible for coordinating outreach activities from the wider astrophysics group at Manchester and dealing with media relations.
Some selected recent projects
I am scientific adviser and local coordinator, as well as making several on-screen contributions, for the BBC Stargazing Live series broadcast from Jodrell Bank in Jan 2011 and Jan 2012. The show attracted audiences of over 10 million people on primetime BBC 2. My work on the show also included contributing to educational projects for BBC Learning, including answering the Big Questions and working with schools on the Space Music project.
I act as Science Director for the new Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre. This includes developing the science exhibition and overseeing science engagement e.g. the "Meet an Expert" sessions and the Lovell Lecture series.
I play a major role in the science engagement for Live from Jodrell Bank, a music festival which attracted 5000 people in the first event in July 2011 and is expanding for 2012. This includes talking about our science from the stage.
I have contributed the Ask an Astronomer segment of our podcast The Jodcast since its launch in 2006. It now attracts around 4,000 regular listeners each month.
I worked with artists and musicians Tasawar Bashir and Brian Duffy on the creation of an audiovisual installation Silsila: Infinite Qawwali, (part of the Asia Triennial Manchester 2011).
I contributed articles on Henrietta Leavitt (working with author Sara Maitland) and Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson (working with author Adam Marek) to the book "Litmus: Short Stories from Modern Science", edited by Ra Page.
I worked with authors Frank Cottrell Boyce and Patricia Dunker and wrote afterwords to their stories in the collection "When it Changed: Science into Fiction", edited by Geoff Ryman.
I created the sound content for the Pulsar Polyphon which was exbited in the European Capital of Culture in Linz 2009.
I worked with composer Alan Williams and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in the science background and schools programme for "Wonder: A Scientific Oratorio".