Joe Burton

L’Oréal Young Scientist Centre Workshop Facilitator

Role

The L'Oréal Young Scientist Centre Workshop Facilitator is responsible for presenting a range of science workshops to school and public groups who come to the Ri. The role also includes helping to develop new workshops, liaising with schools and supporting the other team members with the general day to day running of the laboratory.

About

Joe comes from Bolton where buses are pronounced ‘buzzes’ – which he learned wasn’t the norm when he started at the University of Sheffield to study Biomedical Science, and learn about the human body in health and in disease. After completing that degree in 2013, he jumped onto a Science Communication Masters degree, staying in Sheffield. Since then he has been working internationally to bring science, engineering and maths to young people through exciting workshops, shows and exhibitions. Most recently Joe was part of a new initiative to set up creative science spaces in Ghana with the Lightyear Foundation.

Scientific inspiration

I wasn’t brought up with any real knowledge of famous scientists, so I guess my scientific inspiration was my school teachers. They were really engaging and clearly cared about their subjects, and so I cared too. I don’t think I found learning science particularly easy, but my teachers were patient and kind and with a touch of perseverance, here I am today!

Favourite demo

There are lots of great science demonstrations out there, from blowing up hydrogen balloons to bicarb and vinegar volcanoes, but I think I’m secretly a bit of a science hippy! I like experiments or activities that show science concepts in an out-of-the-box kind of way; that can sometimes get the message across better. So my favourite demo is probably making faeces using bread, a mild acid, alkali, food colouring, a pair of tights and a lot of squeezing! 

Best thing about the Ri

There’s a real sense of purpose at the Ri; a shared dedication among the staff to encourage people to ‘think more deeply’ about the amazing world of science we live in. It’s great to be a part of an organisation that has such strong history of science engagement, and also one that is constantly striving to improve.

About the L'Oréal Young Scientist Centre