Yesterday, July 1st, the Ordered Universe project was awarded a prestigious prize from the University of Oxford. Hannah, Tom and Giles submitted the project for the Vice-Chancellor’s Public Engagement with Research Awards, and we were one of six projects from over 80 entrants selected as prize winners. The awards were hosted by Merton College and the Academic Champion for Public Engagement, Professor Sarah Whatmore and the Vice Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson.
Hannah, Giles and Brian represented the project at the ceremony, and Hannah received the prize: certificate and trophy. To be selected in such sterling company was both a privilege and testament to the maturity of our collaborations, and the efforts from the whole team to disseminate its insights to audiences beyond academe. Our submission focused on activities from 2013-2015, our public lectures, contribution to the Cheltenham Science Festival and the Being Human Festival, writing for the Conversation and other media outlets, our web and social media presence, and our work with Ross Ashton for the Lumiere Durham centrepiece, The World Machine. And, of course, we foregrounded the wonderful collaborations which have developed since then, with Alexandra Carr, Alan Fentiman and the National Glass Centre in Sunderland. This award is therefore an opportunity to acknowledge and thank all who have attended and supported our endeavours, in the UK, in Europe (perhaps especially at the moment), in North America, Australasia, Asia and Africa. Ordered Universe places engagement and outreach at the heart of its collaborative philosophy, and practical activities. Without collective wisdom and expertise, it would be so much the less. With a dynamic and flexible approach to how we talk about what we do, and how we might do it better, it is so much more.