Our Conversations with the Public

Thu, 23 Jun 2016 10:02:00 BST

On 20 May staff and students from the Faculty of Life Sciences and the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences showcased their incredible variety of conversations with the public through their public engagement activities, using a diverse range of methods.

Dr Sheena Cruickshank (University Academic Lead for Public Engagement with Research) opened the event introducing the concept of public engagement across different disciplines. Dr Kingsley Purdam’s (School of Social Sciences) keynote presentation described new sources of data and open science for citizens and academics to engage with in ‘Crowdsourcing the Future, Methods, Data and Challenges’. Dr Mary Tully (Academic Lead for Patient and Public Involvement, MHS) then introduced public involvement with Big Data and the role of citizen juries for exploring ethical challenges.

Professor Amanda Bamford (Associate Dean for Social Responsibility, FLS) chaired soapbox talks on an impressively wide range of subjects, including gaming, creating community partnerships, schools science projects, high profile data/social media campaigns and unusual places (e.g. breweries!) to hold public engagement events.

The talks were followed by a workshop in evidencing the impact of public engagement led by Judith Gracey (Knowledge Transfer and Impact Coordinator).

Sharing of public engagement experiences stretched into lunch with bespoke bingo revealing more of people’s public engagement experiences –including ‘I have talked about washing machines on Woman’s Hour’ and ‘I have shown maggots to the Costa Rican ambassador’, and ‘Own an ‘I Love Maths’ T-shirt.’ Intriguing...

The event was very well received, forging new collaborations, sharing ideas for future work and informing impact analysis.

Photos from the event can be viewed on these Flickr pages.