This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies policy.
Skip to the content

Share this

Free weekly newswire

Sign up to receive all our latest news direct to your inbox.

Physics on film

100 Second Science Your scientific questions answered simply by specialists in less than 100 seconds.

Watch now

Bright Recruits

At all stages of your career – whether you're an undergraduate, graduate, researcher or industry professional – brightrecruits.com can help find the job for you.

Find your perfect job

Physics connect

Are you looking for a supplier? Physics Connect lists thousands of scientific companies, businesses, non-profit organizations, institutions and experts worldwide.

Start your search today

Blog

A fusion physicist with a passion for communication

By James Dacey

Scientific outreach is a noble activity and if done well it can be equally exhilarating for both scientists and their audiences. One young physicist with a natural flair for communication is Melanie Windridge, a nuclear fusion researcher who recently worked at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) in Oxfordshire, UK.

Melanie has been chosen as the 2010 schools lecturer by the Institute of Physics (which publishes Physics World), a role that sees her travelling the UK, delivering talks to more than 13,000 students between the ages of 14 and 16.

In this special video report, I caught up with Melanie at a school in Derbyshire, a recent stop on the school lecture tour. Melanie talks passionately about why she chooses to devote her time and energy to scientific outreach and the people that have inspired her along the way.

Describing her experiences of being on the road giving the 2010 IOP lecture tour, Melanie believes that she is lucky with her area of expertise. “Fusion is inherently very interesting and energy is a very emotive subject, so it’s relevant to people’s lives,” she says

Melanie then talks me through one of her favourite plasma demonstrations, and provides some practical advice for other researchers who want to engage in outreach activities. “The first thing – people always mention it, but it is really important – is to think about your audience. To think about what age group they are and so what they will understand…but also think about their attention spans.”

Music for the video was kindly supplied by my brother’s up-and-coming electro-rock band, the Spires.

And if the video has whetted your appetite for nuclear energy, you can also download a free PDF of October’s Physics World magazine, a special issue on nuclear power.

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

One comment to A fusion physicist with a passion for communication

  1. I think this is doubly important because Fusion reactors will be our main energy source in twenty to forty years from now, but if the public won’t be educated about their merits we will find outselves in the worst energy crisis the world has ever seen.
    Education has never been this important.

Leave a comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Guidelines

  • Comments should be relevant to the article and not be used to promote your own work, products or services.
  • Please keep your comments brief (we recommend a maximum of 250 words).
  • We reserve the right to remove excessively long, inappropriate or offensive entries.

Show/hide formatting guidelines

Tag Description Example Output
<a> Hyperlink <a href="http://www.google.com">google</a> google
<abbr> Abbreviation <abbr title="World Health Organisation" >WHO</abbr> WHO
<acronym> Acronym <acronym title="as soon as possible">ASAP</acronym> ASAP
<b> Bold <b>Some text</b> Some text
<blockquote> Quoted from another source <blockquote cite="http://iop.org/">IOP</blockquote>
IOP
<cite> Cite <cite>Diagram 1</cite> Diagram 1
<del> Deleted text From this line<del datetime="2012-12-17"> this text was deleted</del> From this line this text was deleted
<em> Emphasized text In this line<em> this text was emphasised</em> In this line this text was emphasised
<i> Italic <i>Some text</i> Some text
<q> Quotation WWF goal is to build a future <q cite="http://www.worldwildlife.org/who/index.html">
where people live in harmony with nature and animals</q>
WWF goal is to build a future
where people live in harmony with nature and animals
<strike> Strike text <strike>Some text</strike> Some text
<strong> Stronger emphasis of text <strong>Some text</strong> Some text
WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux