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Dr Penny Fidler, ASDC's CEO, to step down after 13 years

Penny’s outstanding contribution and exceptional work over the last 13 years has made a huge step-change to the development of the national network of Science and Discovery Centres and ASDC. Over the past 13 years she has created and led many national strategic STEM programmes that engaged millions and were devised to generate long-term strategic legacy across many UK Science and Discovery Centres.

ASDC’s national STEM programmes range in subject from climate and the environment to astronauts and space science, and from cutting-edge physics, to chemistry, nanoscience and molecular biology and all share the latest research with children and adults across the UK. Through ASDC programmes, UK Science Centres have engaged millions of schoolchildren, families and adults and provided opportunities for over a hundred thousand people to meet and talk with local scientists and engineers.

New programmes for which the funding has been secured, include an ASDC Leadership Programme for Science Centre Professionals and The Digital Innovation and Engagement Programme for Science Centres, again bringing together professionals from across the sector to advance the field.

During Penny’s time at ASDC she has spear-headed efforts to raise over £35 million of funding for the UK Science and Discovery Centres and ASDC, including lobbying and working with Government to create the £30 million Inspiring Science Fund. She has spoken and advised in Parliament and Number 10 on the vital importance of informal science engagement and campaigned widely for the central role of Science Centres.

The ASDC Board of Trustees would like to thank Penny for her outstanding contribution and exceptional service over the past 13 years and wish her well for all her future endeavours.

Professor Alice Roberts, Academic, writer and broadcaster and The ASDC Patron said:

“Penny Fidler is a force of nature and I know she will continue making a big difference to science engagement in the UK in the future."

"Penny’s vision - to link up science and discovery centres across the UK - has helped those centres to embark on joint projects, to learn best practice from each other, and to widen and deepen their impact. These centres are so important for informal and lifelong learning about science and technology - and for linking schools up with university research.

Thank you Penny, for all your amazing work with ASDC.”

Dr Penny Fidler added:

“It has been a delight and a privilege to lead ASDC for 13 years to the mature and vibrant organisation it is today, bringing together such a brilliant national network and championing engaging the public with the latest science in a multitude of settings. I shall be leaving ASDC on April 23 to pursue some exciting new personal and professional adventures, including setting up my own consultancy for science engagement and strategy, and focusing a little more on my life-long passion of climate, especially now the UK is hosting COP26.

As ASDC’s founding CEO, I want to thank such a huge network of wonderful colleagues, partners, trustees and friends who I have worked with and have been such a wonderful part of ASDC’s and my journey over the past years.

I wish my team, the ASDC Board of Trustees, and all the members of the UK-wide national network all the very best and look forward to seeing you in various and I’m sure exciting ways in the future.”