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Reading climate researcher joins the crucial Crucible – University of Reading

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Reading climate researcher joins the crucial Crucible

Release Date 06 July 2007

Dr Paul Williams, a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Fellow at the University of Reading, has been chosen from amongst hundreds of applicants to participate in the prestigious Crucible Programme, designed to encourage the brightest young researchers to take risks and embark on ground-breaking collaborations.

Paul is one of thirty researchers who will come together for three innovation laboratory weekends and explore the wider potential of their work. The programme, run by The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), is now in its fourth year and has proved to be a massive success.

Crucible 2007 sees social scientists join their science and technology peers on the programme for the first time. The two groups are very rarely given the opportunity to work together and it is hoped that groundbreaking collaborations will grow out of their meetings.

Dr Williams, who is based in the University's Department of Meteorology, commented:

"I am thrilled to be taking part in Crucible. Climate change is the major problem of our time and it will not be solved by climate researchers writing scientific papers that are read only by other climate researchers. I firmly believe that climate scientists must engage directly with researchers from other disciplines if the climate problem is to be solved. I am delighted that the Crucible programme is helping me do just that."

Participants this year include university-based researchers in as varied subjects as astrophysics and bacterial genomics; industry people from large corporations such as Hewlett-Packard and Proctor & Gamble; and fellows from institutes such as the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the Macaulay Institute, which carries out land use research.

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Notes to editors:

Dr Williams is available for comment and interview. Please contact James Barr, Press Assistant, email tel 0118 3787115.

NESTA Spokespeople are available for comment and interview. Please contact their press office on 020 7438 9608.

1) NESTA is the National Endowment for Science, Technology & the Arts. With endowed funds of over £300 million, its mission is to transform the UK's capacity for innovation. It does this in three main ways: by working to build a more pervasive culture of innovation in this country; by providing innovators with access to early stage capital; and by driving forward research into innovation, with a view to influencing policy.

2) For all media enquiries about the Crucible Programme and NESTA please contact Nicola Kane Media and Public Affairs Assistant, email or tel 020 74382 608.

Aims of the Crucible Programme:

Centred around three themes, the labs will specifically encourage participants to:

- see their own research and roles as scientists in the wider context of society and explore how collaborations in science and technology can address some of science and modern society's big challenges;

- examine the culture of research that exists today, identify in what ways this may limit or hold back innovation, and explore ways to overcome this, with a particular focus on facilitating collaboration across disciplines;

- develop the individual skills and attributes that NESTA has found are characteristic of innovators, namely: self-belief; self-awareness; collaboration, teamwork and communication; and risk-taking.

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