Tagged / public engagement
Running from 7:30pm – 11:00pm at the ICCI 360 arena in Weymouth, this event includes spoken word, film and performance by young Dorset voices supported by poets John Hegley, Jonny Fluffypunk and Liv Torc in a 360 degree audio-visual spectacle that promises to take poetry to the next level! This is an excellent example of public engagement and looks to be an exciting event so if you’re free come along this Thursday (30th August), tickets are £5, available from the Weymouth Pavilion Box Office.
Having just come into post as the Events Co-Ordinator for BU’s Festival of Learning I am just being introduced to the concept of public engagement, and Eric Jensen’s recent podcast on “Public Engagement and the Public Understanding of Science” was an enlightening listen on what public engagement is, and why it is so important.
Jensen starts by telling us about how the idea of public engagement came about from public understanding of science, and how it spread across several other academic disciplines such as the social sciences and humanities. He also tells us about the implications of this change, how events such as public lectures are only focused outwards whereas engagement events need to have inward input as well. This message is at the heart of the upcoming Festival of Learning as well as smaller events such as Café Scientifique Bournemouth being launched this October by colleagues from BU and AECC.
Another key point mentioned is the importance of evaluation and assessment. Evaluation and reflection are how we learn so should be applied to every situation in order to improve for the future. Asking yourself questions about the events being hosted, for example “Is this event cost effective and sustainable?” or perhaps “Could I engage more people more effectively through a different style of event?” are simple ways to assess what you’re doing and make sure the events are a worthwhile use of time and resources!
As public engagement becomes more and more important, with it now featuring as an aspect to be considered in research funding applications, it becomes vital to use engagement funding creatively and efficiently to provide interesting events as a forum for debate, discussion and interaction with those from all walks of society.
If you’d like to learn more about the development of public engagement activities around your research please contact Becca Edwards.
Maritime archaeologists at Bournemouth University are collaborating with Borough of Poole’s Museum Service to open the world of maritime archaeology to the public via the Swash Channel Wreck.
The project, made possible thanks to a grant of £140,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, aims to utilise the local underwater heritage so everyone can find out about how archaeologists discover, investigate and protect our underwater past.
The discovery and investigation of the Swash Channel Wreck just outside Poole Harbour is the inspiration behind the project. Work includes a series of events, workshops, talks and online resources, allowing people of all ages, background and circumstances even those unable to attend events or come to the museum to engage and take an active role in their underwater cultural heritage.
The idea for the project came from BU’s MSc Maritime Archaeology Programme Leader and Project Manager Ms Paola Palma. She said: “I was working with my students on this fascinating underwater site when I realised that only a small group of us – myself and my colleague Dave Parham, the students and few others – would be able to enjoy this incredible maritime heritage. And this made me realise how important it is that we involve not just students, but the wider community.”
Cllr Carol Evans, Mayor of Poole, said: “We are pleased to be working with Bournemouth University on this exciting project which will involve the whole community. Poole has a fantastic maritime history and I would encourage people to get involved in what is a great opportunity. I look forward to visiting the Museum to see the finds from the Wreck on display.”
If you are interested in hosting a Maritime Archaeology Day at your school, office or organisation, or if you wish to be involved actively with the project, then you can contact a member of the team by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to learn more about public engagement at Bournemouth University, please contact Dr Rebecca Edwards
Details of October event: Cafe Scientifique: Prof Jeff Bagust – “Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow – The Cardiac Foxtrot” – 7pm, 2nd October, Cafe Boscanova. No need to reserve a ticket, just buy a drink or snack at the venue!
I am delighted to announce that Bournemouth will soon be hosting its very own Café Scientifique or Science Café (SciCafé) as they are often called, held first Tuesday of the month (7-9pm-ish) at Café Boscanova. What is this all about I hear you cry?
In brief, Café Scientifique is a forum for fostering public engagement with science. It’s about getting academics out of the university and into a pub, café, restaurant (not that academics necessarily require a push in this direction) or similar type of place to give a short talk related to the field in which they are researching, and then for the public to engage in asking questions of the expert and, indeed, of each other. As the Café Scientifique website neatly puts it this is “science for the price of a coffee” or, you may prefer my take on this strap-line, “science for the price of a couple of beers”.
The talk is important, but most important of all is the discussion that it stimulates. Should Oscar Pistorius have been allowed to participate in the Olympic Games? Was it worth spending billions of pounds discovering the Higgs-Boson, and what does its discovery mean? Is climate change definitely largely man-made? Why does toast always land buttered-side down?
The benefits of the discussion ought to be reciprocal – the public gets to benefit from up-to-date knowledge and to learn about what scientists actually do, and why they do what they do, ‘from the horse’s mouth’, as it were; academics meanwhile get to play their part in the wider dissemination and understanding of their field to the general public. Reporting of science in the media is often sparse and more often inaccurate. Science will never sell newspapers or magazines in quite the same numbers as will news of the signing of Wayne Rooney to Manchester City (wee joke), the Duchess of York’s latest dress or Katie Price’s latest marriage (totally serious). The Bournemouth SciCafé is one option for us to help redress the balance, dispel myths, empower, stimulate and inspire. The Bournemouth SciCafé is being organised by myself (chiropractor and BU PhD student) with Sharon Docherty (biologist and fellow AECC researcher) and two colleagues at BU, Becca Edwards (Research Development Officer – Public Engagement) and Naomi Kay (Events Co-ordinator).
Contact me, Jonny, if you’d like more information about attending or, even better, if you’d like to give a talk yourself. We’d particularly like to hear from you if you can give a talk related to the Olympics, whether on sports performance, psychology, training, the economic and social impact of the Games etc. We look forward to seeing you, or, listening and discussing with you, very soon! First speakers to be announced soon! Further updates will be posted here.
If you would like more details about public engagement activities at BU, please contact Becca Edwards on email@example.com or 01202 961206.
Do you want to take your public engagement activities to a much wider audience and be part of the UK’s premier science festival? In which case, you might want to think about putting in a proposal for the British Science Festival is 2013. Now is the chance to get involved!
The Festival theme for 2013 is ‘Making Waves’ – so if you will need to think about ideas that have impact and will have impact in the future! The British Science Association is also looking for lots of creativity and controversy, so get your thinking caps on – it would be great to see a BU presence!
You can propose events to take place in the main programme, the city programme and the young people’s programme. For full details, please click here
If you would like some help in thinking about what you could offer or preparing a proposal, please do not hesitate to contact Becca on 01202 961206.
The Large Awards Scheme makes awards of £10,000 to £100,000 for projects which are expected to have “significant regional or national impact”
Applicants should have strong links with the Science & Technology Facilities Council’s scientific research community. Partnerships between universities and partners that can enhance impact e.g. science centres are strongly encouraged.
Projects must be relevant to one of the following research areas:
- particle physics;
- nuclear physics;
- space, ionospheric, solar and planetary science;
- studying materials with muon and neutron sources;
- studying materials with synchrotron light sources;
- research using laser facilities;
- other science areas
Examples of previous awards can be found here.
Full details of the call can be found here – please note that applications close on 8th November at 4pm.
If you are interested in applying, please contact Becca on (01202) 961206.
FP7 Science in Society Networking Event 2012 will be hosted in Brussels on September 19th. The free event will allow stakeholders including universities, civil society organisations, companies and public authorities to share project ideas on the engagement of society with scientific research and innovation. The event will include presentations from the Commission on the detail of the calls and will focus on:
- Mobilisation and Mutual Learning Activities (MMLAs);
- Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) on tackling societal challenges;
- Gender in science and research; and
- New developments in science and education.
European Audiences 2020 and Beyond will be held in Brussels 16-17th October. The event will provide inspirational examples of audience development by cultural organizations and foster European exchange of practice on audience development strategies. Around 22 speakers will debate in four different panels, dedicated to empowering the audience, engaging the audience, diversifying the audience and hosting the audience. The speakers are project promoters from the EU Culture and MEDIA programmes, as well as other good practices from the cultural sector.
Don’t forget if you need help or advice on public engagement, speak to our BU expert Rebecca Edwards!
Huge congratulations to Dr Richard Shipway, who has been awarded sponsorship by the ESRC to run an event during the ESRC’s national Festival of Social Science in November .
The event, Optimising Olympic tourism opportunities after the 2012 Games, will use insights from Richard’s research to explore how the potential of the London 2012 Games can be harnessed to enhance tourism in the years following the Olympics.
If you wish to learn more about the event, please contact Dr Richard Shipway on RShipway@bournemouth.ac.uk.
If you would like to learn more about public engagement activities across BU or explore how you can develop public engagement activities around your research, please contact Becca on REdwards@bournemouth.ac.uk
On 16th July, Jaana Jeffery (a PhD researcher and registered dietitian in the School of Health and Social Care) is contributing to the Moving Forward Partnership Programme with a session on Diet and Breast Cancer: Dispelling the Myths. This is part of a programme of activities convened by Breast Cancer Care and NHS hospitals across the UK to support individuals in moving forward with their lives after treatment for breast cancer.
Jaana explains that “breast cancer survivors are at an increased risk of developing CVD, diabetes and recurrence of breast cancer. Excess weight is a significant risk factor for these health conditions. Between 50-96% of women gain weight over the first 12-24 months after diagnosis. The National Cancer Survivorship Initiative (Department of Health, 2010) have highlighted the importance of diet, lifestyle and maintaining a healthy BMI. Currently, mechanisms of weight gain following a breast cancer diagnosis are not well understood, which has led Jaana to explore the dietary, lifestyle and behavioural factors exhibited by women following an early diagnosis of breast cancer and how this is related to body weight.
Congratulations to Jaana for her contribution to such an important event! It is fantastic to see her using insights from her research and clinical experience to support others and we eagerly await the full findings of her research.
If you are interested in developing public engagement activities around your research, please contact Becca on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The British Science Association has just published details of the activities that will be taking place during the British Science Festival in Aberdeen 4-9th September. Can you can find the guide here.
The really exciting programme include appearances from famous faces (such as Brian Cox and Bill Bryson), talks (e.g. Offshore Emergencies: Medicine in Extreme Conditions), workshops (e.g. How to Solve Crime with Mathematics), evening events (e.g. the Science of Cocktails), family events in the city (e.g. the Science of Fireworks), family events at the beach (e.g. the Cosmic Dome), trips/tours (e.g. Sense-Walking) and exhibitions (e.g. Bubbles and Balloons).
Obviously, it is not that easy to attend the festival if you live locally to BU, but if you are interested in public engagement it is well worth looking at the programme. The mini-guide could also provide useful inspiration if you are planning to apply to run a public engagement activity at the Festival of Learning, here at BU.
Also, if you are an Early Career Researcher, or know of others that would benefit from the opportunity of getting involved at the Festival, the British Science Association is recruiting Festival Assistants. More details can be found here. Please note that the closing date for applications is 30th June.
If you are planning to go to the Festival, please contact Becca in the RDU on email@example.com – we would be delighted to know which aspects of the Festival of you think worked well and why.
Many congratulations to Dr Debbie Sadd, from the School of Tourism, who has been awarded funding to run an event during the ESRC Festival of Social Science which will be held during 3-10 November this year.
Her event London 2012: Was it worth it? will bring together up to 200 young people from local schools to debate the impact of the Olympic and Paralympic Games on the local area and the country as a whole. Speakers at the debate will include representatives from Dorset 2012, Sporting Legacy, Podium and BU. Not only will young people (and their teachers!) get to learn more about the research happening at Bournemouth University, it is hoped that the debate generated will help to inform future research.
Debbie’s event will also help young people engage with social science more generally by exploring the value of understanding evidence and critical thinking.
Along with our other successful events, this debate will help put BU on the Festival of Social Science map in what will be the tenth year of the festival!
The event will be a multi-activity format including a screening of the film ‘Rufus Stone’ and launch of the method deck ‘Methods to Diversity’ –a community organising tool; day to include small group discussions, distribution and hands-on experience with the method deck, reports from Research Projects (BU & Equality SW); participation of Research Advisory Group and Intercom Trust.
This is excellent news – well done Kip 🙂
Today Associate Professor Chris Shiel is speaking at an Inside Government Conference – Internationalising Higher Education in the UK: Globalising Knowledge and Skills. This event brings together several central government departments, key actors from the private sector, senior academics and others to consider how to develop strategies to recruit students from our increasingly globalised world. The event will also help delegates to learn more about how to attract funding and to work with international partners to support the development of global employability skills. Specifically, Chris will speak on ‘The Cultural Value of an Internationally Mobile Student Population’.
The report discussed at this event stems from Think Global, of which Chris is Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees. This builds on the earlier contributions that Chris has made in developing the evidence base around this key topic, notably giving evidence to a House of Lords roundtable discussion chaired by Baroness Jolly and hosted by the British Council and Think Global. This session was joined by Dr Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business and Skills, which considered questions around how students can be prepare for the global labour market, identified core skills for young people in a globalised world and the challenges that need to be addressed to develop internationalisation.
Many people associate public engagement activities with engaging a very general public, but this illustrates how targeting a select group of individuals can ensure that your research findings reach the most appropriate individuals that are able to use the evidence created by research. Crucially, this is a two-way process; by engaging with policy makers in this way, this helps to inform future research by identifying prospective policy issues. Chris’ involvement also places Bournemouth University at the centre of the debate on this key issue facing the HE sector.
For further details of the conference taking place today, please click here. For more information about the submissions that Chris made at the House of Lords round table can be found here and here. Alternatively, please contact Chris directly to learn more about her work on firstname.lastname@example.org or if you would like to explore how your research can be used to inform government policy, please contact Becca on email@example.com.
Following Rufus Stone‘s world premiere at BU in November 2011, Trevor Hearing (BU Media School), Ross Hillard (composer) and Kip Jones (BU Media School & School of Health and Social Care) have now produced a short trailer that captures both the story of the film as well as the beauty of its cinematography in two and a half minutes. For previous blog posts about Rufus Stone, click here.
Rufus Stone is a film about love, sexual awakening and treachery, set in the bucolic countryside of south west England, and viewed through the lens of growing older. It is based on knowledge gathered as part of the research project “Gay and Pleasant Land? – a study about positioning, ageing and gay life in rural South West England and Wales.”
The BU Festival of Learning will take place over a two-week period during spring/summer 2013 (dates are to be confirmed but are likely to be in June). During this time BU will offer a number of short courses, guest lectures, debates, science cafes and other events to multiple audiences, including BU students, the local community, businesses, schools and community groups. The Festival will be a key part of our public engagement activity and will provide the opportunity for us to engage with individuals and groups to share and create knowledge.
This is your chance to be involved! We are looking for BU staff who are interested in running sessions at the Festival; these may be events/courses you have successfully run previously or new events/courses. The Festival will include a lot of different activities so we’re looking for all sorts of events – different topics, audiences, purposes, deliveries, durations. Think creatively!
One of the key aims of the event will be to increase our public engagement activity. If you would like to discuss your idea for a public engagement activity or creatively brainstorm how your idea could be developed into a public engagement event then Rebecca Edwards would be more than happy to work with you on this.
The Festival will be organised around the 8 BU Research Themes rather than on an individual School basis. Staff who offer up courses to the Festival will share in 40% of the revenue generated for use in their personal research or scholarship.
This will be the first time that such as large-scale event has been run at BU and with your support and input we can make it a real success 🙂
RCUK, with support the National HE STEM programme, have put together some short case studies detailing how academics have used public engagement as a pathway to impact. You can find these case studies here.
What is particularly of interest with these case studies, is the importance that the featured academics place on developing two-case engagement, rather than simply disseminating findings to a wider audience.
If you would like some support to do something similar around your own research, please do contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another opportunity to develop public engagement activities within a wider programme of learning, is during the Festival of Learning that BU is running next year. You can find out more here with a deadline for applications on 31st July 2012. Again, if you would like some help to put together your application, please do contact me on email@example.com.
You may already be aware that we have recently seen the launch of Bournemouth University’s Dementia Institute (BUDI), more details of which can be found on the Health and Social Care blog and BUDI’s website. This event brought together nearly 100 participants, two thirds of which had a professional interest in dementia, with a considerable proportion of the remainder attending for more personal reasons.
Encapsulating BU’s Fusion concept (with inclusion of research, teaching and practice), the launch event brought together what has been described as the three sides of the public engagement triangle. This includes transmitting (sharing results of previous research on dementia through presentations), receiving (learning from practitioners and service users about the key research issues) and collaborating (creating a dialogue to inform future research).
Part of BUDI’s key driving force is the need to promote high quality care and support for the population for dementia. Therefore, the process of public engagement is particularly important for BUDI, as it considers a key issue for Dorset – why does the county have the lowest level of dementia diagnosis, despite its elderly population? Currently available data does not provide an obvious answer to this, and it is likely that only by working with key stakeholders and the at risk population, that insights may be gained into this startling statistic.
BUDI Director, Prof Anthea Innes’ opening talk (What does dementia mean to you?) brought together some of her findings from her esteemed research career in a way that was accessible to the audience as a whole, but also sensitive to those for whom dementia is a highly emotive subject. Michele Board – a Senior Lecturer in the School of Health and Social Care and a senior nurse in the memory clinic at Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – then gave a powerful account of insights into how the individual’s experience can be improved from her experience of working in the memory clinic. Again, this was informative for those of us with limited knowledge and for the more expert attendee. The final part of the event focused around a panel discussion, chaired by Prof Gail Thomas, Dean of the School of Health and Social Care. Alongside the speakers, the panel included Karen Cosgrove from Alzheimers.org.uk and Steve Collins from Age UK who with their extensive practice experience helped generate a lively discussion, where knowledge was exchanged and attendees were able to flag up areas of potential future research.
During the launch, I had a strong sense that the event was enabling a genuine process of public engagement to occur between our academic community, practitioners and other key stakeholders. I am therefore, delighted to learn that the results of the event evaluation demonstrate that this was very much the case for many of the participants. I know that BUDI are planning far more public engagement activities, which is I think will be both hugely positive for the progression of the research, for those involved in professional practice as well as for those affected by dementia, both patients and carers. As an academic institution, we perhaps uniquely positioned to be able to bring such a range of stakeholders together, share world-class research, learn from those that are directly impacted by research findings and develop a research agenda that we can be confident is relevant to our fast-changing world. If you would like to know more about why it worked so well or are interested in learning more about how you could develop public engagement activities around your research, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Rebecca Edwards on firstname.lastname@example.org, or for more information about BUDI contact Professor Anthea Innes on email@example.com