Award for inspiration presented to local physicist
Press release issued: 28 February 2007
Physicist Liz Ainsbury has been rewarded by the Institute of Physics and HSBC for her work in inspiring school pupils to take physics. This includes inviting local students to the University of Bristol where she studies and volunteering as a local researcher in residence at St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School.
Liz will be the first person to receive a new award from the Institute’s Women in Physics Group and HSBC which recognises outstanding work by a female physicist in the early stages of her career.
On winning the award, Liz said: “I see outreach work as being equally as important as my research. We need to encourage students to want to study physics to university level and beyond, and this can only be achieved by demonstrating that physics is not only fascinating, but can be fun too! In my work as a local researcher at schools in Bristol I can help answer questions from the pupils on where physics can take them in their careers and how it makes most of the things around them work.”
Liz receives the award not only for her work in taking physics to the public but also for her recent research project.
Liz continued: “I’ve just finished research at Bristol into whether there is a link between extremely low frequency magnetic fields, such as those produced by overhead power lines and health effects such as childhood leukaemia. The students who visit are always surprised that physics can lead to working on projects like this that involve healthcare.”
Doctor Joanne Baker, secretary for the Institute’s Women in Physics Group said: “Competition for the award was strong but Liz ticked all of the boxes. We’ll also be giving Elaine Baxter of Qinetiq Space Division and Andrea Ma of the University of Cambridge runners-up prizes at the awards ceremony.”
The £1000 award, very early career women physicist of the year award, will be presented by Dame Mary Richardson, CEO of the HSBC Education Trust, which has sponsored the prize on 28 February 2007 at the Institute of Physics after a careers event for women.