Educational charity reveals next chief


Hassun El-Zafar has been appointed director of the educational charity Edinburgh Science, succeeding its current chief who has led the charity for nearly 30 years.

El-Zafar is currently the senior producer for public programmes at the science charity the Royal Institution of Great Britain. He is also a non-executive director for the Union of Justice, a European organisation aiming to advance racial and climate justice.

He was the public engagement executive for the Royal Society of Chemistry from August 2019 to March 2021 and worked on public engagement initiatives for the United Kingdom Research and Innovation government department.

El-Zafar will take up the role at the end of May, following the charity’s 35th annual Edinburgh Science Festival, which came to a close last week (14 April).

He takes over from Simon Gage, who worked at Edinburgh Science for a total of 34 years – 29 of them as the charity’s chief executive and director.

Gage announced his departure in January, saying it was the right time to pass the leadership to someone else.

El-Zafar said: I am thrilled to step into the role of director at Edinburgh Science. Our mission, centred on igniting curiosity and nurturing creative engagement with science across diverse communities, deeply resonates with my professional journey. 

“Looking ahead, I am eager to uphold our distinguished tradition of excellence, harnessing the UK’s dynamic intellectual, industrial and cultural landscape to foster an even deeper appreciation for scientific dialogue, engagement and inquiry.

Brendan Dick, chair of Edinburgh Science, said: “Hassun El-Zafar brings a wealth of experience in science engagement that will be key for Edinburgh Science in the coming years.”

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