Aberdeen to host world's biggest science and technology engagement conference

Aberdeen to host world's biggest science and technology engagement conference

Aberdeen is to host the world's biggest global conference on science communication focused on practices for sharing science and technology with the public.

PCST (Public Communication of Science and Technology) 2020 will see the biggest gathering of global science communication scholars and practitioners come together in the UK for the first time.

Around 600 delegates will attend the 16th PCST conference at the new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, which will include workshops and keynote speeches from leaders in the field.

Aberdeen won the right to host the conference in the UK for the first time through a competitive bidding process at this year’s PCST Conference in Istanbul with a presentation led by Dr Ken Skeldon and Dr Heather Doran from the Public Engagement with Research Unit.

The conference is coming to the city thanks to its track record in delivering successful public engagement events and activities such as Explorathon – Scotland’s European Researchers’ Night, May Festival and many more.

The baton will be officially handed over to Aberdeen after the PCST conference in New Zealand in 2018.

Brian Trench, President of PCST, the global network for science communication, said: “Scotland will in 2020 become the sixteenth country to host a PCST conference, and we confidently expect the Aberdeen event to be a big success.  We have had our conferences in all continents, reflecting our standing as a global network.

"PCST conferences are distinctive in bringing together practitioners, educators and researchers, and this is expressed too in the support for the Aberdeen conference from the city's science centre and from Aberdeen University.

"We look forward to meeting representatives of the very many facets of science communication that are practised and studied in Scotland, the United Kingdom and far beyond, when we gather in Aberdeen in 2020."

Professor Dame Anne Glover, Vice-Principal for External Affairs said: “Public Engagement in Aberdeen continues to go from strength to strength and our successful bid to host the 16th PCST conference is further proof of this.

“2020 will be the first time the event has been hosted in the UK, which is a fantastic honour. It will be fantastic to have all the experts in the science and technology communication field together to share the latest ideas and practices. It will also be a great opportunity to show how connected and forward thinking Aberdeen is in this area.”

Dr Kenneth Skeldon, Head of Public Engagement said “The securing of this global conference on science communication reflects the international networking and reputation of our public engagement effort at Aberdeen.  In the lead up and delivery of the conference, we now have the opportunity to build further links with the world’s largest community of science and technology communication scholars and practitioners.”  

Steven Daun, Sales Manager at AECC said “It’s such an honour to be hosting the 2020 PCST Conference in Aberdeen, allowing us to showcase the region as a destination of choice for global conferences. We have a very close working relationship with the University of Aberdeen and continue to strengthen this by working on bringing conferences such as PCST to the city. With more and more high profile events confirming for Aberdeen, it is boosting the region into a thriving centre for international business which has a social scene to match.”