Public engagement with research has come a long way since 2000. The pace of change has quickened significantly following the establishment of the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE), the completion of the Beacons for Public Engagement programme, the embedding of research impact within Research Council grant applications and the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), and the 2010 publication of the RCUK’s Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research.
Whilst each of these developments was significant, the publication of the RCUK Concordat three years ago was a watershed. In effect, its four principles were a mandate for embedding public engagement within the UK’s research culture. To celebrate the third anniversary of the Concordat's publication RCUK have published another booklet called Inspiration to Engage. ...continue reading →
The academy and community: seeking authentic voices inside higher education - A workshop on creating and sustaining an engaged research community
On 11th November 2013, I facilitated a small workshop where participants explored some of the essential building blocks for creating and sustaining a research community that cultivates and delivers engaged academic practice. The session focused on features outlined in my research poster. A pdf of the poster, ‘COMMUNI-TEA PARTY AT THE ACADEMY’ can be downloaded – here.
I was selected as one of the 2013 cohort of ten British Science Association Media Fellows. This is a scheme which places scientists with a media host for a month in the summer to learn about how journalists produce news reports of scientific research.
As well as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Physical Sciences at the Open University I have also been selected as a TED Fellow. Having been an avid watcher of the TED talks for many years I was inspired to apply to the Fellowship scheme so I could have a global stage on which to share the fantastic research being conducted in Astrobiology and to educate people worldwide on the subject of life in space.
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.