Two buses have been decked out (and in!) with illustrations of astronomy and particle physics research underway at the University of Sussex. The buses each have two iPads installed with an app that allows passengers to submit video or text questions to scientists while riding the buses. At the end of the year, the best submitted questions will win an iPad. There are also several pre-announced ‘curated bus rides’ where scientists will ride the buses and talk to interested passengers.
The aim of this project was to get more people who live in Brighton involved with the research taking place at the University through the buses. It is hoped that by allowing commuters to ask questions to the scientists that it will increase public engagement in the sciences sector. The inspiration for this project was from the successful program Poems on the Underground, which highlights classical, contemporary and international work, by both famous and relatively unknown poets on the London Underground tube trains.
This website features short films of scientists answering questions about their science and their lives, more information about the research topics highlighted on the buses and a way to submit questions to scientists.
The project is led by Dr Lily Asquith, a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellow based at the University of Sussex, School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences.
The illustrations are provided by Toya Walker and the photography and films are provided by Daisy Asquith.
The buses are provided by Brighton & Hove Buses.
Numerous members of the particle physics and astronomy research community at Sussex have given their time and creativity to this project in various ways – you can find out more about them here.