The University of Lincoln has declared that 2014 will be the institution’s ‘Year of Science’ as it looks to expand greatly in their science provisions.

Science students at the University of Lincoln. Photo: University of Lincoln press officeFollowing the construction of the Engineering building recently, the university are now planning the Science and Innovation Park, which will span ten acres when it opens later this year.

To help celebrate these landmark developments, the university are putting on a wide number of events for all ages to attend, to help learn more about science.

One of the major activities will be a series of talks by science experts. The ‘Great Minds’ series features some of the world’s best science speakers, including scientist, author and presenter Professor Lord Robert Winston, naturalist and broadcaster Chris Packham, and one of the world’s most revered chemists, Professor Carl Djerassi, the inventor of the contraceptive pill.

However, the Year of Science gets underway with an essay competition, with essays being judged by a panel of experts, including the founder of Sense, Lord Dick Taverne. Those wishing to enter are asked to consider the question ‘what is your favourite element?’ (Closing date for entries is the 31st of January)

Another highlight for the year will be the national Science and Engineering Week, which takes place 14th – 23rd March. Staff from the college of Science will be heavily involved in the activities which the university will be putting on for young people.

However, the major highlight of the calendar will be the grand opening of the Joseph Banks Laboratory at the new Science and Innovation Park. The building is set to be the signature structure for the park, which is being built in conjunction with the Lincolnshire Co-Operative and other regional, major employers who are interested in the success of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.

Professor Mary Stuart, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, said: “Lincolnshire has a remarkable legacy of innovation in the sciences, producing visionaries such as Isaac Newton, Joseph Banks and George Boole, whose work has shaped the way we understand the world today.”

“2014 is a significant year for the University of Lincoln with the launch of our new School of Chemistry and the opening of our Joseph Banks Laboratories at the Lincoln Science and Innovation Park.

“We want to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to celebrate Lincolnshire’s proud history of scientific endeavour and achievement, and to join us in looking ahead to what the future may hold.”

The Science and Innovation Park is due to open later this year.