Mr Charles Barclay - VP, A
c/o Royal Astronomical Society
BSc. Hons. (St Andrews). FRAS, FRSA, Associate of Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors. Director Blackett Observatory (2004-) and Head of Astronomy at Marlborough College, Wiltshire (1997-). RAS Council (2012-2015), RAS 200 steering committee (2012-), RAS International Committee (2014-) Chair of RAS Education and Outreach Committee (2009-2016) Academic visitor in Oxford Astrophysics sub-department (2005-). Associate Fellow Green Templeton College, Oxford (2012-), Chair of Examiners GCSE Astronomy (2009-), Principal Moderator Extended Project Qualification (2007-). IAU Commission C1 (Education and Development). British Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad Committee and UK Team leader and International Board Member for International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (2015-).
Special interests: Education and Outreach for all ages and backgrounds. Promotion of public access to observatories and use of astronomical data sets for secondary-level research. Observational astronomy by eye. Archaeoastronomy and the communication of astronomical ideas and information pre-writing.
I have worked as a full-time teacher for 26 years following 3 years in London banking. Since renovating the ex-Radcliffe 10” Cooke telescope at Marlborough, I have been determined to maximize outreach there and lecture to diverse groups from cubs and explorer scouts to home educated, U3A, WI and to visiting students from Europe and Asia. I also reach a significant audience whilst lecturing annually for Cunard on Trans-Atlantic crossings. I helped design Kielder Observatory in Northumberland, the winning entry in the 2005 RIBA Open competition. Most recently I co-led the UK Astronomy Olympiad team to 6th place out of 42 countries competing. As Chair of the RAS Education and Outreach committee, I helped to initiate and launch 3 new annual awards; The Patrick Moore Medal for teachers, the Annie Maunder Medal for outreach and annual Presidential certificates for the top 12 GCSE Astronomers and persuaded Council to earmark a fund specifically so the Committee can award grants within the Education and Outreach field. I regularly contribute to local BBC radio on upcoming astronomical events. I believe the Society has a pivotal role to play in harnessing the current level of interest among the public and that publicity and the media are key to further engagement. Politicians need to be under pressure from their constituents, especially in the area of light pollution, the effects of which I see as the scourge of our age, preventing as it does generations in urban areas from experiencing our connection to space. I have an equal interest across the whole spectrum of the Society’s research areas and, if elected, I will champion an inclusive Society that represents and supports the interests of all its membership, both in UK and overseas and especially those of junior researchers. I also see the need to consistently monitor and update our methods of communication, especially to reach potential young members, for example through social media.