Lewis is an interdisciplinary science education specialist with a research background in neuroscience and Scotland Ambassador passionate about community-led science and art participation. He is particularly interested in public engagement and science communication approaches that build meaningful relationships with diverse groups and learners beyond the “already converted” and was the recipient of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Public Engagement Innovator Medal in 2018.
He founded and directs the Science Ceilidh, an award-winning education project exploring science through traditional Scottish dance & arts with adult communities, youth groups and schools across Scotland. Science Ceilidh was awarded Community Music Organisation of the Year in Scotland with Hands Up for Trad and has now worked with over 25,000 learners, young people and adult communities in Scotland and beyond.
He is the Scotland Ambassador for the Fun Palaces campaign undertaking a UK-wide three-year action research project on grassroots participation in arts, sciences and wider cultural engagement. In this capacity, he is the Scientist-In-Residence at Voluntary Arts Scotland and shopping centre Ocean Terminal, running Leith Labs. He is Trustee for Macrobert Arts in Stirling, on the Midlothian Science Festival Committee and part of the Association of Science Education (ASE)’s Scotland group.
Lewis has performed and consulted on STEM and public engagement projects across the world, with particular highlights including being involved in the Alan Turing Institute’s STEM Gamechangers programme, part of the core Edinburgh March for Science team in 2017 with over 2000 people rallying outside Scottish Parliament, developing the local content with Abu Dhabi Science Festivals, competing in the first Science Show International Cup in Estonia, meeting Michelle Obama at the World Innovation Summit Education 2015 in Qatar, speaking on BBC2 Arts Night with author Meg Rosoff on creativity, and winning the NCCPE Engage STEM 2014 Award for his involvement with the science-theatre show Deadinburgh.
His research background at the University of Edinburgh is in using neuroimaging to look at anatomical brain asymmetries and how this may change in certain psychiatric or neurological disorders, through brain evolution and with musical training at the University of Edinburgh. He won both the British Neuroscience Association & International Medical Science Undergraduate Award in his undergraduate degree, and was a Science Fellow at the Exploring the Mind Through Music Conference in Rice University 2016.
During the evenings, he can be found playing the fiddle in pubs around the city or dancing himself, having used to compete in Scottish Country Dancing and now keen on trying new dances from around the world!
ASCUS Labs, Summerhall, Summerhall Pl, Edinburgh EH9 1PL