Dave Ansell

I have been communicating science since the last millenium. Getting involved with a science week event in Cambridge in 1999: in the pub the 2002 event a couple of us decided that it was a waste to only run for one day a year so we founded the CHaOS science roadshow. This is a student run group that now organises a 7 week roadshow, taking science all over the country.

I did a physics degree, and then graduate research. It rapidly became clear that I preferred communicating science and making things to doing experiments. I slowly did more and more outreach, and less and less research (to the benifit of CHaOS).

In 2005 I got a job with the IOP's Lab in a Lorry programme, managing a travelling science lab going around the UK, Ireland and South Africa. It was a very interesting year, and I learnt a lot, not least about exhibit design, as I rebuilt almost all the kit involved.

Also in 2005 I started appearing on the radio with The Naked Scientists, developing and presenting a Kitchen Science segment every week and appearing regularly as a co-presenter on the show. After a year or so I was employed to build the website (along with the kitchen science and presenting). The website developed into a large integrated database system managing the publication of podcasts and allowing the team to produce a range of types and formats of audio, video and web content without needing to enter any details twice. I wrote and presented about 200 kitchen science segments, and cowrote a book of experiments to do at home.

In 2011 Chris Lennard approached CHaOS about building a hands-on science museum in Cambridge. I was obviously very keen to get involved and started building exhibits for what became the Cambridge Science Centre. Over the years I have designed and built over 100 exhibits from scratch, many of which are innovative or new.