Bristol professor Dave Cliff is the sole computer scientist among the 16 distinguished scientists on the roster for "GCSE Science Live", a series of one-day conferences for GCSE pupils taking place across the UK in coming months. Other speakers include: evolutionary biologist (and outspoken atheist) Professor Richard Dawkins; fertility expert (and frequent TV presenter) Professor Lord Robert Winston; Oxford neuroscientist Professor Baroness Susan Greenfield; the UK Government's ex-Chief Scientific Advisor Professor Sir David King; Prof Sir Alec Jeffreys (inventor of DNA Fingerprinting); and Dr Ben Goldacre (of "Bad Science" fame).
Each GCSE Science Live conference-day involves a series of short lectures (with questions and answers) by four scientists, and a presentation and discussion session with a senior GCSE examiner. The events attract audiences of several hundred students at a time. The aim of each day is ambitious: to change perceptions of what science is, and to perhaps even make a difference to subject choice at AS and A2 A-Level.
In March 2009, Dave Cliff was a speaker at GSCE Science Live events in Bristol, Leeds, and Manchester -- the last of which had an audience of over 1,200 pupils. In November 2009 he is speaking at events in Newcastle, Portsmouth, and London, with several additional dates planned for 2010.
"I absolutely love doing these lectures" says Dave "the atmosphere is just fantastic; I'm ever so grateful to the GCSE Science Live people for organising these events, and inviting me to them. I think it's vitally important to try to keep GCSE-level students interested in science -- not just computer science, but any science."
The Website for GCSE Science Live is http://gcsesciencelive.net/.
Dave Cliff's University of Bristol website is http://www.cs.bris.ac.uk/home/dc/.