Mat Wright


Call for interest / consultancy opportunity on water desalination/water sustainability

Key dates

Application deadline: Thursday 21 May 2015 by midday (UK time)

Date of talk: Wednesday 17 June 2015


Scientific research and innovation underpins economic prosperity, The most successful scientific collaborations are often international ones. In order to further these collaborations between UK and Turkey, our governments have designated 2015 as “the UK – Turkey Year of Science and Innovation.” 

In addition to supporting a range of mobility and partnership opportunities for the academic community, we are planning a series of outreach events designed to engage the wider public in scientific debates. We aim to raise public awareness and curiosity about science and innovation with the aim of inspiring the next generation school students to choose STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects for their university education.

The talks will take place in six different cities across Turkey, focusing on different popular science subjects from April 2015 to February 2016. The first talk was organised in Istanbul on Big Data and Health. The other talks will be:

  • Water desalination/water sustainability (Antalya) – June 2015
  • Chemistry and health (Izmir) – September 2015
  • IP & entrepreneurship (Ankara) – November 2015
  • Biotechnology (Adana) – December 2015
  • Green tech/energy efficiency (Bursa) – February 2016

We are looking for an expert from the UK with extensive experience of public engagement activities to address the first talk in ‘big data health’. An honorarium of £500 will be paid and all travel expenses will be covered by the British Council. The talks may be recorded for subsequent television broadcast.  


  • To promote discussion and debate of scientific issues relevant to daily life among the public
  • To raise awareness of the dynamism of science in an interesting and engaging way
  • To inspire the next generation of students to pursue studies and careers in STEM subjects
  • To celebrate the UK-Turkey Year of Science and Innovation by encouraging participation beyond the academic community

Water desalination/water sustainability, Antalya, June 2015

Water is a finite resource that is fundamental to human well-being. It is at the core of sustainable development and is critical for socio-economic development, healthy ecosystems and for human survival itself. It is vital for improving the health, welfare and productivity of populations. Water is also at the heart of adaptation to climate change, serving as the crucial link between the climate system, human society and the environment.

Water sustainability is defined as the continual supply of clean water for human uses and for other living things. Water is only renewable if well managed. 

In our age drivers like population growth, climate change, land use change and global poverty cause precipitous changes in water quantity, availability, and quality. Those changes in our water environment make water sustainability a challenging target.

By 2025, two thirds of the world’s population could be living in water-stressed countries if current consumption patterns continue.

According to some estimates, over 80% of wastewater is discharged without treatment.

The UK is one of the leading countries that has developed strategies on the issue of water sustainability. OFWAT (The Water Services Regulation Authority) is a non-ministerial government department responsible for sustainable water cycle to meet our needs of future generations.

Water desalination 

Given the scarcity of fresh water, desalination may be an option. Desalination means turning saline water into fresh water to remove the dissolved salt in seawater. 

In 2010, there were more than 1,400 desalination plants operating in the world.  The top three countries pursuing desalination as a means of generating fresh water are Saudi Arabia with 17 percent of global output, United Arab Emirates with 13.4 percent, and the United States with 13 percent. Most of the world's high-capacity desalination projects are in the Middle East, where energy is cheaper and environmental regulations are more flexible. 

However, desalination also brings environmental concerns including: the brine by-product that is much saltier than ocean water and must be processed before being put back in the ocean; and the impact of the suction intake pipes on sea life.

So what is the best way to be followed for water sustainability? The British Council Science for All Talk on Water Desalination/Water Sustainability will aim to shed light on the importance of the sustainable use of water and alternative solutions to access fresh water with a specific focus on the UK and Turkish experience. 



Informal discussion with a moderator (Café Scientifique format).

Benefits of the programme

  • Access to wide public audience in Turkey 
  • Expert’s and his/her institution’s name will be mentioned on British Council’s web pages dedicated to the event and on social media tools 
  • Opportunities to showcase UK expertise and knowledge in science and innovation and to share the latest developments with the public audience in Turkey
  • Development of ideas and explore collaborative opportunities across in Turkish market
  • The British Council will take care of all administrative aspects of the talk and make all necessary travel arrangements


  • Visuals and materials that will be used by the expert during the talk will be shared with the British Council Turkey team by 1 June 2015
  • Delivering Water Desalination/Water Sustainability Talk on 17 June 2015
  • Producing a brief article (one side of A4) highlighting key points about the subject and his observations and recommendations to be published on the British Council Turkey website. Article to be submitted to the British Council Turkey team by 30 June 2015.


We are looking for an expert from the UK with extensive experience of public engagement activities. The applicant should be able to demonstrate research and work experience in related fields (water desalination ad water sustainability) for at least five years and preferably hold a PhD degree in a relevant discipline.

Importantly they must have extensive experience of communicating with non-specialist audiences and a track record of successful public engagement activities.

An honorarium of £1,000 will be paid and all travel expenses will be covered by the British Council. The talks may be recorded for subsequent television broadcast. 

How to apply

Please submit an expression of interest of 500 words including any links to video recordings of past public engagement activities with an outline of your proposal and accompanying CV to Neslihan.Boncuk@britishcouncil.org.tr.