Q&A with EPS Outreach Award-Winner Kate Shaw

ATLAS Outreach Co-Coordinator receives award at EPS HEP conference in Vienna

12 August 2015 | By

Kate Shaw (Image: ATLAS Collaboration)

ATLAS Outreach Co-coordinator Kate Shaw has been awarded the 2015 European Physical Society (EPS) Outreach prize "for her contributions to the International Masterclasses and for her pioneering role in bringing them to countries with no strong tradition in particle physics".

Q: How does it feel to win the EPS prize?

Kate: I am very honoured to win this prestigious award. I see it as recognition that outreach to developing countries needs further investment. They are key to the world's scientific development.

Q: Why do you think it is important for scientists to participate in Outreach events?

Kate: As scientists, it is our responsibility to share the fascinating world of science. In particular, we must ensure that young people and teachers have access to our research so that they can draw inspiration from it. Future scientists will play a vital part in sustainable economic and academic development, and it is our job to pass the torch to the next generation.

Finally, it is essential that scientists reach out to those with fewer opportunities and access to scientific education. We need to diversify science and that can only be done if each and every person has access and exposure to education and research.

Q: What are the most difficult and the most rewarding parts of outreach for you?

Kate: The most difficult part is knowing that we live in an unequal world. Many children and young people simply do not have the same opportunities to access science as others, and often exceptionally strong students will not be able to fulfil their dreams and their potential.

Of course, the most rewarding part of outreach is sharing something that I love with people from all over the world, and seeing that science in truly universal.

Q: What advice would you give to scientists who would like to participate in such activities?

Kate: I would advise scientists looking to get more involved in outreach to think about what aspects of science and society they care about, who they would like to inspire or educate, and why. There are a number of programmes you can get involved in - find the one that works for you!