Paul Walker
Chairman, Newcastle Science City
Science Highlights

Newcastle is a science city. Spread the word.

That was the message of our Science City Showcase event at the Centre for Life.

And with a wealth of world-class scientific research on display it was a message received loudly and clearly.

The idea for the event stemmed from the ambition to recruit an army of science ambassadors by providing a narrative to Newcastle’s proud position as a UK city of science. We know that the best way to promote the scientific strength of the city (and in turn attract investment and talent) is through the city itself – through its businesspeople, its investors and its residents. We wanted to show Newcastle the very best science its city has to offer – and what a show it was!

We’ll be building on this momentum to ensure we continue spreading the message further afield and with news just days ago that Newcastle has once again been identified as a ‘supercity’ for science in a new report by HSBC it is a message that is being strengthened every day.

As the chair of Newcastle Science City I’m passionate about my role in promoting and supporting our scientific community and I look forward to working with you to do the same.

View and download images from the event via our Flickr site

Find out how you can help promote Newcastle as a city of science at

Hundreds of ambassadors recruited to spread the word of Newcastle’s scientific excellence

More than 700 ambassadors were recruited to spread the word of Newcastle’s scientific excellence at a unique event.

The city is leading the way in everything from the development of electric vehicles and rail cabs of the future to pioneering cancer treatments tailored to a person’s genetic fingerprint and creating a way to diagnose disease via mobile phone.

And for one day only Newcastle Science City brought all of this scientific excellence together under one roof at the Centre for Life for a free event entitled Science City Showcase.

More than 700 academics, businesspeople, community groups and schools took the opportunity to meet the scientists and researchers who are making these fascinating discoveries and to get behind the science through models, films, presentations and experiments. BBC Blue Peter science presenter Steve Mould was also on hand to lead tours through the exhibition and bring to life the science on show with his trademark humour and enthusiasm.

Straight-talking former soldier to share unique insight on leadership

One of Britain’s most charismatic and respected former soldiers, General Sir Mike Jackson, will be visiting the North East on June 14 to offer his own unique insight on leadership to the region’s science and technology community.

The famously straight-talking Sir Mike, who was chief of the General Staff at the time of the Iraq War, will share his thoughts and experiences in his role as keynote speaker at The Science of… Leadership event, which is being organised by Newcastle Science City. He will be joined by Dr Angélique du Toit, a leadership expert and senior business lecturer at the University of Sunderland.

This is the second event in The Science of… series, which kicked off in March with a successful session on motivation, led by former England rugby player and Strictly Come Dancing competitor, Austin Healey. The events, which are held in the uniquely intimate surroundings of the Victorian lecture theatre at Neville Hall on Westgate Road, Newcastle, aim to combine science, business and personal development into a single session.

First Friday branches out in Sunderland and Morpeth

Following a successful trial which saw its First Friday North East networking event held outside its home city for the first time, Newcastle Science City is to launch regular monthly sessions at locations elsewhere in the region, beginning with Morpeth and Sunderland.

Since it launched in 2009, First Friday North East has become a hugely popular forum for science and technology entrepreneurs in the region to meet up and discuss topics ranging from emerging technologies to the regional economy. Following a successful trial event in Morpeth back in February, when more than 30 people attended, Newcastle Science City will be launching the two new regular events under the ‘Informal Friday’ banner.

Usually held at the Central Bean Coffee Shop on Gallowgate, Newcastle, First Friday regularly attracts more than 100 people who come to meet in a relaxed, informal environment. The Sunderland and Morpeth satellite events, which kick off on June 10 and 17 respectively, will mirror the original format very closely. It is hoped that innovative businesses right across the region can use the expanded network to develop new partnerships, share expertise and do business together.

Linda Conlon
Chief Executive, Centre for Life
Spotlight on the future of science event

This month, Linda Conlon, chief executive at the Centre for Life, looks at the phenomenal growth and success of Newcastle ScienceFest.

“If this doesn’t get kids switched onto science, then I don’t know what will!” This unbridled enthusiasm wasn’t prompted by the latest television series from Brian Cox, but by a North East initiative that’s grown from small beginnings in 2003 to a nationally recognised festival. Newcastle ScienceFest 2011 proved to be the most successful to date with over 60,000 people taking part in the six day event, breaking attendance records at main venues and giving a clear indication of the public’s appetite for science.

This year’s festival was a far cry from the first which involved only a handful of activities.  However, the aims of the festival have not changed. In a nutshell, it seeks to foster a culture where science is celebrated, to increase scientific literacy and to encourage the next generation to consider a science-related career. These ambitions are shared by other organisations, including Newcastle Science City, which aims “to create prosperity for the city and wider region by supporting the creation of new businesses and jobs”; to assist “new businesses to innovate and grow” and “to ensure that the local population can become part of the city’s continued scientific achievement.” 

Newcastle Science City
Time Central, 32 Gallowgate
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SN