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Sample BA-lert
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The BA-lert March
1) NATIONAL SCIENCE WEEK RECEIVES PRIME MINISTER’S BACKING
2) EVER WONDERED… 
3) THE BA CREST SCIENCE FAIR
4) CLINICIAN WARNS OF EFFECT OF RAISING RETIREMENT AGE
5) ENERGY FOR SOCIETY: ISSUES AND OPTIONS
6) THE X-CHANGE
7) SCIENCE COMMUNICATION CONFERENCE
8) SIR WALTER BODMER AWARD FOR VOLUNTEERS
9) WANT TO LEARN HOW THE MEDIA WORKS?
10) HONORARY MEMBERS - YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO NOMINATE
11) THE BA FESTIVAL OF SCIENCE – STUDENT BURSARY PACKAGE
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Welcome to the March edition of the BA-lert, the BA’s monthly newsletter. In this edition, you can find out about this year’s National Science Week, the wacky world of the Ig Nobels and who are the UK’s top young scientists.
To find out more about the benefits of becoming a member, why not take a look at the BAckroom members’ area and try a free 3-month trial membership. for more information.
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1) NATIONAL SCIENCE WEEK RECEIVES PRIME MINISTER’S BACKING
In only a few days, the UK will be buzzing with a thousand different science events of all shapes and sizes as National Science Week (12-21 March) arrives.
Prime Minister Tony Blair has added his endorsement of this year’s National Science Week, congratulating the Week for encouraging people to engage with science through informative and fun events, and providing scientists with an opportunity to talk to people about their research and gain an understanding of the public’s views. The full text can be seen at .
Make sure you don’t miss out on the multitude of events – wherever you are, there is bound to be something for you. To find your nearest events, take a look at the online programme at .
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2) EVER WONDERED… 
…About the forces required to drag sheep over various surfaces, or what percentage of students dislike the taste of Brussels sprouts?
If you answered yes the Ig Nobel Prizes tour is the National Science Week event for you. The tour will be visiting the length and breadth of the country, from Belfast to Oxford, Glasgow to Exeter, and features Annals of Improbable Research editor Marc Abrahams, many Ig Nobel prize winners and a collection of the world's greatest scientists, musicians and thinkers.
The Igs are intended to celebrate the unusual, honour the imaginative and spur people's interest in science, medicine and technology.

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3) THE BA CREST SCIENCE FAIR
The talents of the UK’s brightest young scientists were rewarded at the prestigious BA CREST Science Fair, held at the Royal Society, London on 9 February. Top projects included an investigation into the affect of flowers on hospital wards, a project to examine violins of varying qualities and the development of a chocolate bar that doesn’t melt in warm weather. The prizes were awarded by TV scientist Kathy Sykes.
For further information, including a full list of winners, visit .
NETWORKING EVENT AT THE SCIENCE FAIR
Over 120 members of academia, government and industry were invited to view the projects as part of a Corporate and Institutional Members event. Networking events are held quarterly as exclusive opportunities for Corporate and Institutional Members to meet and be involved in the BA's work. If you are interested in finding out more about membership of the BA for your organisation, please visit .
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4) CLINICIAN WARNS OF EFFECT OF RAISING RETIREMENT AGE
Raising the retirement age from 65 years to 70 years would mean that the total number of working age adults with dementia in the UK would rise three-fold, warns Dr Donald Brechin, a clinical neuropsychologist. Although it is seen as one way the Government could address a future pensions crisis, in an article in this month’s Science & Public Affairs, Dr Brechin, who runs the Teeswide Young Onset Dementia Team, Tees & North East Yorkshire NHS Trust, spells out the implications of such action.
For the complete press release, please visit .
Science & Public Affairs is a publication free to members of the BA. To find out more, visit .
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5) ENERGY FOR SOCIETY: ISSUES AND OPTIONS
As we move into the new century, society faces a huge challenge in producing energy to meet the increasing demands of our society. On 28 February, the BA Northwest Branch and the Manchester Lit and Phil Society examined the options that exist for providing this power and the problems that we face. Brian Iddon MP chaired the event which featured experts from the European Union, universities and industry.
At the end of a fascinating day, what was clear to all who attended was that there are no easy answers but we must begin to examine the options now and educate people so that we can make an informed decision about energy for our society
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6) THE X-CHANGE
Obesity, MMR and whether opening the EU borders would increase the spread of disease were just some of the issues discussed – and voted on – at the February x-change at the Dana Centre, London.
The audience and panel of speakers, which consisted of Lib Dem MP Evan Harris, journalist Anjana Ahuja and epidemiologist Roy Anderson from Imperial College, posed some interesting questions and opinions, including whether a tax on high fat foods would improve the nation’s diet, or whether it is the profits of food manufacturers that should be taxed. Another issue which divided the audience was whether or not Tony Blair should have come out and said whether or not his son Leo received the MMR vaccine.
The next x-change will be held during National Science Week on Tuesday 16 March.
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7) SCIENCE COMMUNICATION CONFERENCE
The Science Communication Conference, jointly organised by the BA and The Royal Society, will take place on Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 May at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
The aim of the conference is to present a more inclusive look at ways of communicating science to a variety of audiences by bringing together practitioners, academics (social scientists and scientists) and decision makers interested in science communication.
The Office of Science and Technology is supporting a bursary scheme for this year’s conference. Bursaries are designed to attract a wider range of delegates to the conference. Applications for the bursaries will open online at 10:00 on Tuesday 6 April.

 
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8) SIR WALTER BODMER AWARD FOR VOLUNTEERS
Don’t forget your nominations for the Sir Walter Bodmer Award for Volunteers. If you know of someone who richly deserves recognition on account of their long service and/or their real impact, please nominate them to be the first recipient of the Bodmer Volunteer of the Year award. The deadline for nominations is 28 March.
Further information, including a copy of the rules and nomination form, is available on the BA website.
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9) WANT TO LEARN HOW THE MEDIA WORKS?
The BA Media Fellowship Scheme offers professional scientists and engineers the opportunity to experience first hand how the media works. Media Fellows will spend 3 to 8 weeks on a summer placement with a media organisation. Previous host organisations have included The Guardian, BBC Science Interactive and New Scientist.
We are accepting applications until 30 April.
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10) HONORARY MEMBERS - YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO NOMINATE
Members of the BA are invited to nominate special individuals to be considered as Honorary Members. Honorary Members are people who have made an outstanding contribution to the aims and purposes of the BA by:
• Promoting openness about science in society: between the public, policy makers and other decision-makers, and the scientific and business community
• Engaging and inspiring adults and young people directly with science and technology, and their implications
For further details on how to nominate, and an application form, visit the BAckroom at: and go to ‘Have a Say’.
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11) THE BA FESTIVAL OF SCIENCE – STUDENT BURSARY PACKAGE
Do you want to offer students the opportunity to immerse themselves in debate and discussion about the impact of science on society and enjoy the atmosphere of an event that is extensively covered in the media?
The BA offers a bursary package, costing just £300, which includes Festival registration, accommodation and food for the entire week. Bursary packages can be purchased until 1 August.
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