Communicating Boaty McBoatface and Large Hadron Colliders

Join us for an evening of communications learnings from the infamous Boaty McBoatface and Large Hadron Collider sagas. The evening starts with snacks/light refreshments, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and networking opportunities.

In April 2016, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) launched a creative but otherwise standard social media competition to name its newest research vessel. The communications team was quite unprepared when an off-the-cuff suggestion from one of them to name it Boaty McBoatface gained unprecedented momentum…

A year earlier, CERN’s Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland started its second run of experiments, reigniting fears in the media that the facility would lead to a second ‘Big Bang’ and the creation of ‘Dark Matter’.

Join the CIPR STEM group for an evening looking behind-the-scenes of two of the world’s biggest STEM stories. Two outstanding communicators – Julia Maddock, NERC's Associate Director of Communications & Engagement, and James Gillies, former Head of Communications for CERN – will discuss the events leading up to and surrounding these stories, the challenges their teams faced, how the issues were handled and risk was minimised, and what they have learned from this and other episodes.

Join us at 17:30 for canapes and other snacks, wine, beer and soft drinks, followed by a 18:00 start.