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The Three Million Dollar Challenge:

How Do We Make Science Accessible for All?


Science is at the core of everyone’s lives: from navigation to healthy living, space exploration to fixing the climate. Our economic success comes from investment and leadership in science and technology, and yet many people feel that “science is not for me”. The number of people choosing a career in the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths - is falling, and there is a huge issue of diversity in science. So if we can find a way to make science more appealing, and encourage more people from underpresented groups in society to engage in STEM, the economic and social benefits for the country could be huge. 


Earlier this year, astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell – who co-discovered the first pulsars in 1967 - donated the money she won for the Breakthrough Science Prize ($3m) to help women, ethnic minority, and refugee students become physics researchers. So, at a special VIP Night as part of the ATOM Science Festival 2019, we bring together five women involved in very different areas of science, technology and engineering, and ask: if you had $3m (£2.3m), how would you make science more accessible for all? At the end of the evening, we will be sharing some of the ideas to the wider science community – and we will also be celebrating women in STEM on the night.


Taking place at St Helen and St Katharine School, Abingdon, this event is open to everyone. Afterwards, we hope you will see science in a different way, feel that science might actually be 'for you' - and more importantly, encourage you to take advantage of the science taking place during ATOM – and encourage others to pursue a career in STEM.


Wednesday 20th March 2018 at St Helen & St Katharine School

...Doors & Bar Open 19:30, Talk Begins 20:00, Tickets £7.50



Jess Hamer (Physics NQT mentor, Physics Coach and Gender Balance Officer at the Institute of Physics)


Stephanie Hill (European Communications Officer for STFC, based at CERN, Switzerland)


Layla Moran (MP Oxford West & Abingdon, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Education, Science & Young People)


Shefali Sharma (Mechanical Engineer and Senior Commercial Strategist at Oxford Space Systems)


Vicki Potter (Electrical Engineer, Global HR Director at Oxford Instruments)

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