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Dana Papadogianni

Geneticist and a science communicator - Dr Theodoros Anagnostopoulos

From: Greece

Studied: PhD in Medical and Molecular Genetics

UK institution: King's College London, Imperial College London and Newcastle University  

Dr Theodoros Anagnostopoulos is the co-founder of the social enterprise SciCo, which combats scientific illiteracy and promotes interactive STEM education. It has reached over 150,000 people in Greece and Cyprus.

TELL US ABOUT SCICO AND WHAT YOU HAVE ACHIEVED

I was one of the co-founders of SciCo in 2008, a social enterprise thats combats scientific illiteracy and promotes interactive STEM education. Through SciCo, we established a series of annual science festivals – Athens, Thessaloniki and Mediterranean

I also co-created an interactive, digital video-making platform called School-lab for school students to make science documentaries. This is now being used in several other European countries.

Because of the impact of my work creating SciCo, I am honoured to be the President of the Onassis Scholars Association, the winner of the ASHOKA Impact Programme, and a nominee of the UNESCO Kalinga Science Popularisation Award. 

HOW DID STUDYING IN THE UK CONTRIBUTE TO YOUR SUCCESS?

I owe much of my success to my 12 years studying in the UK. 

After completing a BSc and MSc at Newcastle University and Imperial College London respectively, I embarked on a PhD in Medical and Molecular Genetics at Kings College London, sponsored by the Onassis Foundation.

Studying in the UK, I developed a structured way of thinking that is solution-focused.

Also the interactivity in education, which is intrinsic to SciCo’s success, is something I learned and experienced studying in the UK.

WHAT IS THE WIDER IMPACT OF YOUR SUCCESS?

More than 110,000 people have participated in SciCo’s activities with 50,000 visiting the science festivals each year. The festivals also serve as a networking opportunity for schools, NGOs and companies, all coming together for the purpose of STEM education.

We currently have requests from 12 towns and rural communities to help them set up their own science festivals. And our educational platforms have reached distant, underprivileged rural areas. 

What we have achieved is the creation of a ‘pop’ culture of science. Instead of the specialised TV shows and talks of the past, we have festivals, debates and interactive gaming activities. 

Dr Theodoros Anagnostopoulos is the winner of the Study UK Alumni Award for Social Impact, Greece 2017.

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