Meet the RAS200 steering group

Steve Miller chairs the RAS200 Steering Group and is responsible for reporting on the project’s activities to the Society’s governing Council. Steve is retired Professor of Science Communication and Planetary Science at University College London. With degrees in Chemistry and experience in journalism, Steve has taught and researched into science communication and public engagement at undergraduate, graduate and senior scientist level in the UK and the European Union at large. His planetary science interests are mainly in the atmospheres of giant planets, like Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus, and may of the exo-planets that have been found orbiting around stars outside of our Solar System.

Dr Jo Barstow is a Royal Astronomical Society Research Fellow at University College London. She is a planetary scientist specialising in the study of extrasolar planet atmospheres. When not at work she is kept very busy by her energetic toddler daughter, and occasionally still finds time for her other great love, singing.

Dr Megan Argo is an astrophysicist and science communicator from the North of England.  She studies colliding galaxies with radio telescope networks the size of planet Earth, delivers public lectures and schools workshops all over the country, and is passionate about how astronomy can cross boundaries and cultures and play a role in development.  She has worked in the UK, Australia and the Netherlands, and been lucky enough to observe with some of the best radio telescopes around the world.  Her passion for sharing the wonders of the universe with children of all ages has taken her from northern Scotland to outback Western Australia, via rural India and cosmopolitan South Africa.

Stephen Serjeant is a professor of astronomer at the Open University in the UK, who describes himself as a “recovering blob counter”. He has spent most of the last two decades working in infrared astronomy, in which distant starbursting galaxies appear as blobs in infrared images. His team discovered a wonderful new way of find gravitational lenses with infrared data from the Herschel Space Observatory: scan the sky, and pick out the brightest blobs, which turn out to be bright because of lensing magnification. He is the vice-president of the Society for Popular Astronomy, and fell in love with astronomy aged about five, when he would not eat baked beans without counting them first. You can follow Stephen on Twitter at @stephenserjeant

John Brown has been 10th Astronomer Royal for Scotland (ARfS) since 1995. Prior to his retirement in 2010, he was 10th Regius Professor of Astronomy in Glasgow University. He has published around 300 research papers in astrodynamics, inverse problems, stellar mass loss, comet-star interactions, and energetic solar plasmas, the last winning him the 2012 Royal Astronomical Society Gold Medal. He held sabbatical research fellowships in 17 institutions worldwide. In professional research he is a theorist but he is an enthusiastic amateur astronomer and involved in a number of Scottish dark sky initiatives . As ARfS he gives frequent talks and organises events for very diverse audiences, often working closely with the arts community and is well known for using his own semi-pro conjurer skills to simulate exotic physics phenomena. He is currently co-auhoring a popular book on astronomy ideas with new poems in the Lowland Scots Language written by the eminent Lalands poet Rab Wilson. He was awarded an OBE in the June 2016  Birthday Honours list for ‘services to the promotion of astronomy and to science education’.

Dr Stacey Habergham-Mawson has a background in astrophysics and work in STEM education and outreach through the National Schools’ Observatory at Liverpool John Moores University. She was the first person in her family to attend University and is keen to open opportunities to others. In her free time she loves DIY, gardening, sport and walking her crazy cocker spaniel.

Jane MacArthur is a planetary scientist at the University of Leicester specialising in meteorites and impact craters. She has taken part in fieldwork at Meteor Crater, Arizona, the Sudbury impact structure in Canada and Ries crater in Germany. She is a keen science communicator, writes the Space Exploration section for Popular Astronomy magazine and carries out a wide range of outreach activities to various audiences, from prisons to science festivals.