Session 3B - community engagement

Room 3.22


Get Your Waders On

Rick Hall (Ignite!, UK)

Academic institutions embrace Citizen Science for many reasons, including promoting a perception that they are committed to versions of public engagement that involve co-design of methodologies, selection of research topics and equal sharing of expertise. I'm not convinced that there is always a parity of regard for the co-participants, not least when it comes to engaging so-called harder-to-reach groups.

I wish to illustrate how intermediary organisations in the cultural sector, can bridge the gap between researchers and participants, building trust for engagement in schools and communities who would generally regard science research as 'not being for the likes of us'.


A community-based public engagement with health experiment: Using English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Classes to Empower Immigrant Communities with Science, scaling up for online community and applying in the Field in Rural Madagascar

Sheena Cruickshank (The University of Manchester, UK)

Drawing from a range of practices and disciplines across the health and biological sciences we will explore the benefits and challenges of scaling up engagement activities from small ideas or local events through to national or even international work. By drawing on three very different examples of engagement practice (citizen science, big data, and public campaigns) we will highlight work using multiple channels, processes and approaches that works with diverse audiences and stakeholders. Through interactive panel discussions we will involve the audience in considering how they can apply the lessons shared by the panel to their own public engagement practice.


Culturally Meaningful Science Engagement in Rural & Underrepresented Scotland

Lewis Hou (Science Ceilidh, UK); Erica Mason (University of Edinburgh, UK)

How do we build culturally meaningful relationships with local communities who are underrepresented in science to engage with global research on their own terms? Here we present preliminary findings of ethnographic research into the approach of Science Ceilidh building relationships including through traditional arts and culture with rural island Scottish communities and “New Scots", including refugees and migrants, in Edinburgh to build biomedical/research understanding, capacity and capital.  We'll seek to understand important factors and impacts, critically analyse some of the assumptions within "touring models" of public engagement, and highlight the shared core values along with learnings for researchers and practitioners.


The development of the Parkinson’s UK Research Support Network

Annie Amjad (Parkinson’s UK, UK); Ellen Poliakoff (University of Manchester, UK)

The Parkinson’s UK Research Support Network (RSN) has grown from a handful of volunteers to an online community of over 5000 people interested in engaging with Parkinson’s research. The original aims of the RSN were to communicate ideas about Parkinson’s science and research, but the network has since developed into much more. Through the RSN we support researchers to involve people affected by Parkinson’s to plan, design and carry out their research. We have also seen examples of engagement activities evolving into collaborative working.