In order for a scientific outreach event to have an impact, it must be able to reach as large an audience as possible. Places where the public congregate to learn more about science, such as festivals, schools and museums make perfect locations for public engagement. 

Below are links to a few UK museums, festivals and initiatives specialising in scientific outreach. If you are not willing to run your own outreach event, but still want to get involved, then they are great places to volunteer, to take part in communicating science to the public without having to organize, run or pay for it.

Initiatives and Organizations

British Science Association – has branches across Britain involved in public engagement, and is responsible for organizing the National Science and Engineering week.

Cafe Scientifique – a collection of venues across Britain which act as a forum for the discussion of important and interesting scientific issues with the public. Perfect for running a talk or event.

STEMNET – the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths network is always looking for volunteers with backgrounds in science to become STEM ambassadors and take part in or organize outreach events with schools.

Natural History Museum – get a chance to work with the extensive specimen collections deep in the heart of the museum.

Science Museum – register here for one of their volunteer recruitment periods, which occur every March and September.

Kew Gardens – the famous gardens at Kew use volunteers as horticultural assistants, guides, in school and family education programmes and for project and administrative support in their science department.

Museum of Science and Industry – a Manchester-based technology museum that also acts as the Manchester “Beacon for Public Engagement.”

Catalyst – a chemistry themed interactive science centre and museum in Cheshire, who recruit volunteers from their Friends of Catalyst membership scheme.

Centre for Alternative Technology– a Wales-based organization that focuses on green technology to combat climate change, and offers short- and long-term volunteer placements.

TCV – a large conservation-based charity, with dozens of active conservation projects being carried out by volunteers across the UK.

Science Festivals

British Science Festival – organized by the British Science Association every year, it is one of the biggest scientific outreach events on the calendar.

Edinburgh International Science Festival – one of the most famous science festivals in Britain, this festival runs for two weeks every year. 

The Big Bang Fair – this organization runs a series of regional science fairs across Britain.

Cambridge Science Festival – run by the University of Cambridge, they use volunteers for a variety of outreach events throughout the year.

Manchester Science Festival – looking for people to run their own outreach events as part of the festival, and for general volunteers to get involved behind the scenes.

Cheltenham festivals – Cheltenham plays host to a series of science and art festivals every year, so is always looking for volunteers and interns.

Oxfordshire Science Festival –  contact the organizers for information on running an event.

Brighton Science Festival – an annual festival who are often looking for people to help run hands on activities.

Sidmouth Science Festival – welcome people to run activities as part of the festival.