RSC School Seminar - Assoc. Prof. Alice Motion (USyd)

Title: Modern Alchemy: Connecting People to Chemistry 

Speaker: Assoc. Prof. Alice Motion

Sharing science beyond the walls of research institutions and academia is a growing field of research and practice, the importance of which has been highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Public engagement with science is described by the American Academy for the Advancement of Science as ‘intentional, meaningful interactions that provide opportunities for mutual learning between scientists and members of the public.’ While many outstanding examples of science outreach and communication exist, chemistry is underrepresented in public science dissemination and many groups of people remain underrepresented in science communication audiences.1

The SCOPE (Science Communication, Outreach, Participation and Education) Group at the University of Sydney are exploring ways to better connect people to science through inclusive research and practice. With a central focus on chemistry communication and education, the team are exploring new and creative ways to engage the public with science through a range of approaches that include, citizen science, performance and ‘stealth science’.

In this talk, Alice will introduce the SCOPE group and highlight some of the team’s approaches to improving the relationships between scientists and the public with the aim of securing a place for science as part of our shared culture.

1. Webster and Hardy, Nature Chemistry, 11, 2019, 853-862 


Alice Motion, is an Associate Professor, Chemist and Science Communicator based at the University of Sydney and the Deputy Director (Outreach and Training) for the Sydney Nano Institute. Her research explores open source drug discovery, and ways to connect people with science and make research more accessible. Alice is the founder of the Breaking Good citizen science project, the host of a weekly science slot on FBi Radio's breakfast show since June 2015 and the author of a monthly column, Citizen Chem in Chemistry World Magazine. Alice is the co-host of the ABC podcast Dear Science and was awarded the 2020 Eureka Prize Winner for Promoting Public Understanding of Science.