About Ian Simmons

I am passionate about engaging people everywhere with science and technology through creative and innovative communication.

I have over twenty-five years of experience in setting up and developing science centres and have spent the last ten years as Director of Science Communication at the Centre for Life, Newcastle upon Tyne.  During this time I led the team that created the innovative Curiosity, Experiment and Brain Zones; expanded the education programme to provide the largest offer of taught science and maths workshops in Europe; developed the Life planetarium into one of the most successful in the UK; and established a world-class science theatre programme.

I am also fanatical about making and staged the first UK Maker Faire at Centre for Life in 2009 – the first Maker Faire to be held outside the US.

My career as a science communication began after completing a degree in biological sciences and training as a teacher.  After teaching for two years I joined Leicestershire Museums on the team setting up the hands on science galleries at Snibston Discovery Park including developing Britain’s first outdoor science playground.  Seven years later I conceived of and set up Inspire Science Centre in Norwich in a medieval church building, as part of Science Projects, growing the centre into a thriving visitor attraction.  From 2003 – 2006 I was operations and marketing director at Techniquest, Cardiff, before joining Centre for Life as science communication director.

I established Science Centres International in January 2017 as I wanted to work with a wide range of clients across museums, science centres, events and festivals to give people of all ages the opportunity to explore, experience and delight in science.

I am a Fellow of the Museums Association; a founder member of the British Interactive Group; and I have served on the boards of both Ecsite-uk, the UK’s network of science and discovery centres, and its successor, ASDC, the Association for Science and Discovery centres.


Science Centres International’s clients include:

Udaipur Kid’s Space

Tyne and Wear Museums

Body Worlds

Durham Wildlife Trust

The Wellcome Trust

The Eden Project

Winchester Science Centre

The International Centre for Life