If you are reading this blog, you’ll no doubt be aware that public engagement is high on the agenda within higher education and many other domains. You’ll also probably be aware that researchers face increasing pressures – from their institutions, funders and colleagues – to engage publics and produce evidence of the ‘impact’ and ‘relevance’ of their research. However, little systematic attention has so far been paid to what precisely is meant by the ‘public’ in public engagement.
What happens if we put the ‘public’ at the centre of our efforts to conceptualise, conduct and evaluate publicly engaged research? This question formed the starting point for a presentation that we gave at the Open University on 9th June as part of the Engaging Research seminar series.
The potentials and pitfalls of social networking and blogging about research
Over the last few years I've developed a number of blogs to accompany my various academic/research projects and have become a big advocate of using social media in conjunction with research. Along with wordpress - which is a really easy way for non-technical folk to put up a website or blog - I've also used prezi to ensure that my presentations are publicly available, youtube for filmed clips, facebook and twitter for discussion and sharing relevant links, and storify to record online conversations such as livetweeting from conferences and other events.