Posts

Showing posts with the label public engagement

Creating meaningful engagement via social media

Image
In November I created a poster for the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement ENGAGE Conference  . It was designed for the 'poster encounter' session which they run every year and summarised my top 10 for social media engagement, taken from my Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship. As lots of people were interested in taking a photo of my poster I thought I should share it on my blog too. I've also supported the NCCPE in creating their WHAT WORKS Guide to Engaging the Public through Social Media and my Fellowship Report also supported the creation of this. It launched in November and it's a great guide which covers the main networks, content generation and evaluation. Well worth a read if you are interested in social media for engagement. In 2019 I will be launching a number of citizen science projects and using social media as a tool and a support network to do this. Follow what I am up to at the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science

Public Engagement, Outreach and Science Communication Jargon

Image
I've created a Jargon Buster tool for an exercise I ran with PGRs, researchers, administrators and technical staff. As there isn't a place that these terms come together I thought others might find it useful. Happy to hear any alternative descriptors and arguments about the definitions are welcome. JARGON BUSTER Public Engagement "Public engagement describes the myriad of ways in which the activity and benefits of higher education and research can be shared with the public. Engagement is by definition a two-way process, involving interaction and listening, with the goal of generating mutual benefit." National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (2018, Oct 16). What is Public Engagement? Retrieved from http://www.publicengagement.ac.uk/about-engagement/what-public-engagement Outreach   “a one-way discourse, in which scientists communicate their research to the general public, with particular focus on school children and young people.” Illin

Reflections on 'The Art of Gathering' for those in Public Engagement

I've just finished reading 'The Art of Gathering' by Pryia Parker. It's a must read for anyone who is interested in gathering people together - for work and for social. The book made me think in lots of ways about how I gather people in my life (something I love to do) but here I am going to reflect on how it might reinvigorate some of the ways in which I approach public engagement activities and gatherings. The book isn't about public engagement, it's about gathering as a general topic but the ideas can be applied to any gathering. Not all of the thoughts in the book were completely new to me but these are the ones that I thought were of particular importance for everyone involved in creating engagement experiences that bring together the public and research. I've got to extend a massive thank you to Lou Woodley for the recommendation to read the book. The book is set out over eight chapters, which logically follow the path you take when planning a g

How to Be A Social Media Wizz: Top Tips for Researchers

Image
I have written a Buzzfeed post of the 10 top tips I have gathered from science communicators, universities and science writers in the US and Canada... click on the image below to be taken through to the guide. I hope you find it useful. This list was compiled as I undertook my Churchill Travel Fellowship. I also wrote up some good example case studies and how to plan a social media engagement strategy on the LSE Impact Blog .  I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone that supported me and met with me during my Fellowship. Everyone I met was so open about discussing what they do. I was worried that people wouldn't want to speak openly to a stranger who was external to their organisation but that wasn't the case at all. Every single person I interacted with was incredibly welcoming. Their thoughts and views have definitely impacted on me and how I will approach everything in the future. Many discussions included not only the focus of the sharing of science a

Churchill Fellowship: Science policy and public engagement in Washington DC

Image
Washington DC was a VERY HOT whirlwind of interesting conversations. new experiences and lots of lessons in American history. I think the time I spent in DC is going to spawn a number of blog posts focused on different topics but for now, here's what I got up to and my thoughts from DC. I've included a summary of my take home messages at the bottom of the post. First stop was the American Association of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology's ( ASBMB ) 'Hill Day'. This is where a group of scientists from the association meet with with their representatives, Senators and Congressmen to discuss their science and issues in funding. Benjamin Corb and the policy team at ASBMB do an excellent job of training the scientists in what to expect from their meetings with Senators and Congressmen, how to structure their short discussions and get the most out of them. It was fascinating to see the interaction between scientists and their representatives(and see the C

Creating effective social media networks; why it isn't all about numbers.

In my current job I help researchers engage with the public about their research work. I talk with them about how they might engage with particular groups of people or how they might think about structuring a public talk. I especially like talking with people about different ways they can engage and how they might think about using online tools and social media to engage with others about what they are doing. This post is about maximising the potential of social media networks for engagement and measuring success online. It isn't all about the numbers.... The first thing I ask is, 'why do you want to do this?' Followed closely by, 'who is it you want to engage with or reach?' This second question is so important. It's no use chatting to fellow researchers and tweeting links to scientific research papers if you want to speak to people outside of the research field about their views on nature. Tailoring content and building the right network of contacts is so i

Read my thesis and let's chat about sharing research

Follow my blog with Bloglovin So my thesis has been published online on the University of Aberdeen Library page. You can read it by clicking here .  It has the very snappy title 'GPR30 and ERĪ±36 and their potential role in breast and endometrial cancers' This is my lay abstract: Oestrogen is a hormone that is mostly associated with the development of sexual organs and the female monthly menstrual cycle. However, it is also known to play a role in breast cancer. The presence of oestrogen can make some breast cancers grow and in the 1970s ‘anti-oestrogens’, like tamoxifen, were developed which have successfully prevented the growth of some breast cancers by blocking the action of oestrogen. Oestrogen causes this growth by binding to specific ‘receptors’ in the body. The anti-oestrogens work by blocking the oestrogen binding to the receptor. Some breast cancers do not have the receptors and therefore can’t be treated with anti-oestrogens. These types of cancers tend to be

How to get involved in public engagement / science communication if you are a PhD student / post-doc

Image
I see/hear get asked this question quite a lot, here are some tips and some examples of things I have been involved with  Periodic Table cupcakes at the Freshers Fair 2011 for Au Science Magazine 1) Before you do anything , find out what public engagement and science communication activities are already going on at your university/place of work and in your area. There are a number of ways you can do this. Search the Internet , find out if there are any bloggers/tweeters in your area. Find out if there are any meet ups/tweet ups scheduled (usually advertised on Facebook and Twitter) Get on google, find the bloggers, tweet them, message them, comment on blogs you find interesting. I have found that the sci blogging and Internet community are very friendly and incredibly helpful Car Boot Science at Techfest Aberdeen 2010 Find out who the key people are in your area (by key, I mean the ones with lots of connections and ones that organise events and know what is going on) Spe

Recognising Public Engagement

Universities in the UK have embraced 'Public Engagement'. There is a Public Engagement Manifesto . My university (University of Aberdeen) have signed it. But who carries this 'vital' work out and are they being recognised for it? “ The University of Aberdeen is committed to achieving distinctive excellence across all aspects of its activities including the vital objective of engaging with society. We are building on a considerable track record, where public engagement has become ever more embedded in our core business. Moving forward, our Strategic Plan 2011-2015 reflects our ongoing commitment to support and empower our staff and students to help deliver a diverse, creative and accessible programme of activities with a measurable public impact. Partnership is central to our strategy and our active involvement with the work of the NCCPE extends back to its inception. We therefore endorse the principles of the Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research and fully s

Why get involved in 'Public Engagement' and 'Science Communication'?

Image
I was asked to talk to the new PhD students about some of the 'public engagement and science communication' activities that I am involved in and encourage them to take part. I just got stuck. Why should students give their time to get involved with these activities on behalf of their university? Are they really going to help their career? I was told that if I was applying for a post doc, I should probably leave out of my application all the activities I do, as the potential employer may worry that I do not do spend enough time in the lab. (Just to stress... my PhD is my absolute priority, I make sure that I prioritise my PhD first and I never do an 'activity' instead of my PhD. I do them as well as, and mostly in my spare time). So why do I do them? Honestly, I started getting involved these 'activities' in an effort to meet people. I moved here from London after growing up in the North West of England and going to university in the North East of England. I

Science Communication Conference 2011

Last week I attended the British Science Association, Science Communication Conference 2011. I was granted a bursary to attend, covering transport, accommodation and conference fees - which was nice, as without it I would not have been able to go! I was really looking forward to meeting people involved in science communication across the UK (& world) and some of the people I have spoken to through email & twitter. Creating networks when you are based so far away from the main source of the action can be difficult, social media does help enormously - but it still never beats meeting someone and having a conversation in person. The conference seemed the perfect opportunity to do this. So, off I went to London town with a bag full of Au magazines  to share. I was really pleasantly surprised to find that quite a number of people had already come across the magazine and were interested in the project. That made conversation easy! As I was at the conference on my own I had no option