A coded message for the Queen

1 February 2018

Image of dress designed by Wendy Sadler

When Cardiff University science communicator Wendy Sadler collected her MBE at Buckingham Palace this week, she was showcasing the wonder of science - right down to the fabric of her dress.

When Wendy found out she had been awarded an MBE for her services to science in the Birthday Honours, she was determined to find a way to reflect her love of science on the day. She turned to colleague and Design Engineer Debbie Syrop, and together they created a very special dress.

The pair recorded Wendy’s children shouting her company name Science Made Simple! into a microphone, and turned the recording into a beautiful sound wave. That wave was then printed onto the fabric for Wendy’s one-of-a-kind science-themed dress. The dress is a fitting tribute to a twenty-year career in Science Communication here in Wales.

Having started work at Techniquest producing popular science talks for families, Wendy established Science Made Simple, a social enterprise based at Cardiff University, to share her joy of science with schools and pupils across Wales. Since then, she has won a string of awards for her inspirational work helping people to visualise science.

Speaking about this unique project she said: “I wanted to make a statement with a dress that showed the inner beauty of science. To me physics is beautiful because it is a way of making sense of the patterns all around us in nature. People instinctively understand what they can see with their own eyes, and so I’ve always believed that visualising science is an important way to demystify it. I couldn’t think of a better way to mark my big day than to weave sound waves into the fabric of my dress.”

“I studied Physics and Music here at Cardiff University, so it seems really appropriate that I’ll be wearing a sound wave when I receive my MBE. It brings together my children’s voices and my passion for science - the things that are most important to me.”

Wendy received her MBE for services to science on Thursday 1 February.