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Matjaz Vidmar

FRAS, FHEA, MInstP, MBIS // PhD STS, MSc (Res) STS, MSc SaTiS, BSc (Hon) Physics

Early Career Reseracher in Innovation / Space Sector at The University of Edinburgh

Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator / Tutor ,
Space and Satellite Innovation Programme (DDI) / Science, Technology and Innovation Studies
School of Social and Political Science

Univeristy Teacher,
Mechanical Engineering Group,
School of Engineering

Research Assistant
Business School

News   About Me   Research   Curriculum Vitae    Extra   Contact  

Current updates about my various public engagement activities and STE(A)M science and arts projects.
Here is a short summary of my recent on-line viva experience for anyone preparing for an on-line final examination

About Me

I am a researcher studying innovation and development of the astronomy, space exploration and planetary science technology at the The Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation; part of Science, Technology and Innovation Studies Subject Group in the School of Social and Political Science; and Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group of Business School; at The University of Edinburgh. I am also a member of the Centre for Knowledge, Science and Policy - SKAPE; of the Centre for Data, Culture and Society; UK Centre for Astrobiology; and of the Social Informatics Cluster; and I co-convene Social Network Analysis in Scotland (SNAS) group. I am also involved with the Edinburgh Living Laboratory, Utopia Lab and Curious Edinburgh.

I lecture, tutor and mentor at various Univeristy of Edinburgh courses, and I currently convene the Marketing Technical Products course in the School of Engineering.

I am based at The Royal Observatory Edinburgh as my work is closely linked to projects run by The Institute for Astronomy and STFC - Science and Technology Facilities Council's UK Astronomy Technology Centre (ATC), in particular ATC Innovations. In addition, I work closely with the Data-Driven Innovation's Space and Satellite Innovation Programme, looking at developing a set of strategies leading to Edinburgh becoming the Space Data Capital of Europe and our univeristy a Space University.

I have recently completed a PhD in Science and Technology Studies, part of a 1+3 (MSC by Research + PhD) project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) through the Scottish Graduate School in Social Science   Pathway studentship.
Previously, I completed a (BSc) Physics degree (2.1 class) and a (taught) MSc in Science and Technology in Society (SaTiS), both at the University of Edinburgh.
As a Physics student I specilaised in Astronomy and Astronomical Technology, whereas my main research project for SaTiS was related to the impact of European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) and its innovation on the UK.

In my professional roles, I am a member of the UK Association for Studies in Innovation Science and Technology (AsSIST-UK) and represent PG students and early career researchers on its Strategy Group via the Postgraduate Forum in Science, Techhnology and Innovation Studies (PF-STIS). I am also a member of European Assoaciation for Study of Science andt Technoogy (EASST), a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), a Member of the Institute of Physics (IoP), a Member of the British Interplanetary Society (BIS), where I co-coordinate the re-launched BIS Scotland branch, as well as a member of UK Students for the Exploration and Development of Outer Space (UK SEDS), working on policy and outreach. I am also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I am also the Chairman and Policy Lead of Gateway Earth Development Group and the Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Programmes and Special Projects (Europe) at the Astrosociology Research Institute.
In addition, I have co-funded two new research networks, the Scottish
Social Dimensions of Outer Space network and the international Social Studies of Outer Space network.

Any preprints and a complete list of publications are available from Research Gate.
You can also follw a (hopefully!) more comprehensive version my research through my research blog.
For more general news, images and comments, feel free to find me on Twitter or Instagram.



Social and Political Science

Business School




Curious Edinburgh


Here is my ORCiD researcher profile:

Outer Space, Technology and Culture

I also have a broad interest in the Sociological, Philosophical, Historical and Pedagogical studies of Astronomy, Astrophysics, and related technological and social advancement. I am working on several several (smaller) research projects about these topics, drawing on the resources at the Univeristy of Edinbugrh and at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh, in particular the Crawford Library. Regular updates about the more public facing activities here are available on the News page.

  • Space and Innovation (Eco-systems)

    I am developing a specific interest in teh development of ecological perspectives on Space Technology, in particular as related to issues of sustainability. On top of developing new reserach projects in this arena, I regularely contribute public articles for Popular Astronomy Magazine and Space and Scotland, writting about space policy, innovation and other developments in the Space Research and Industry. Some of the key pieces are also available as pre-prints on my blog. I also make occasional appearances on radio (mainly in Slovenia/n).
  • History of Astronomy Technology

    One of my side reserach insterests is Histrory and Sociology of Astronomy (and Space Exploration), in particular as related to technology development. In addition to reseraching and lecturing on these topics at the Univeristy of Edinburgh, I am also involved with several proejects to present these facsinating stories to the public, for instance through the Edinburgh's History of Science Tour mobile application, Curious Edinburgh. You can download the app from here.

  • Public Understanding of Astronomy, Space Exoloration and Planetary Science

    I am part of the public engagement team at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh Visitor Centre and have developed several educational resources on Astronomy and related topics (do get in touch if this is potentially of interest!). I have also developed a whole variety of one-off projects and talks, which I regularely delivered accross Scotland - including some very remote parts: here is one visit to Islay and another to Orkney - and internationally. (See Recent Public Talks and News sections for more details).
  • Science Policy and Evaluation

    I am also engaging with questions of impact generation and evaluation in "Big Science", about which I tutor and lecture, including on a postgraduate course, Evaluation Reserach Methods, at the Univerity of Edinburgh. I am also exploring the use of multimedia technologies in presenting research and research findings. Related to this later interest, I have launched Student Research Films series, a series of 60sec videos about research undertaken by students at the University of Edinburgh.(If interested to take part, have a look at the resources webpage.)

UK/Scottish Space Sector and Innovation (PhD; 2015-2020)

Supervisors: Dr Alessandro Rosiello, Dr Julian Dines, Claire Dougan-McCallie, Dr Niki Vermeulen, Prof Robin Williams, Prof Wayne Holland

My primary research interests for my PhD were in innovation and the crucial part it plays in advanced research programmes in natural sciences and engineering. I particularly focus on developments connected to Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Exploration.

In focused on the innovation and technology transfer in the Space sector in the UK, and in poarticular in Scotland. My thesis is that to conceptualise the innovation in this high-tech sector we need to better understand the links between actual product development and the knowledge co-creation and acquisition through innovation networks.Hence, insights from the literature as well as an in-depth study of successful innovation management in companies accross the sector and other technology transfer and R&D support porgrammes can play a vital role in delivering the current objectives for UK Space sector's expansion.

This expansion is a key UK economic policy goal and public funding institutions working in this field are very keen forming an integrated approach to achieving the desired impact outcomes. One of the main public funding bodies in the Space sector is this project's collaborating partner, Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC), who are involved in launching a series of new projects in and around Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, in order to stimulate growth and capitalise on excellent basic and applied research undertaken in the area by public and private research programmes.

One of these new projects is the Higgs Centre for Innovation (HCI), which was be at the centre of my work, as I was be able to access and participate in the strategic development of its programme.

PS: I have recently written a short summary of my on-line viva experience.


Even More Stuff?

Me and baby comet

Me and my baby comet at Glasgow Science Centre, August 2014


Get In Touch

via e-mail: matjaz.vidmar[at]  //  mvidmar[at]
by phone: +44 (0)131 6688 461
through social media:       Academia Reserach Gate Mendeley Google Scholar Wordpress Twitter Instagram Linked.In Pinterest Facebook Youtube
by post: Matjaz Vidmar, Royal Observatory Edinburgh, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh, EH9 3HJ, Scotland, UK

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