In 2016 the University of Aberdeen won ARMA’s National Award for “Public Engagement and Advocacy” reflecting a considerable journey of culture change focused towards embedded public engagement (PE), supported by an RCUK catalyst award. Inevitably, many challenges remain and indeed evolve to reflect external drivers and changing value towards PE by internal and external stakeholders and influencers. In this session, an introduction based on our experience in Aberdeen will be followed by a frank debate on the benefits/challenges of PE and whether it should be ‘compulsory’. Teams for and against the issue will look at whether adopting such an approach leads to successful embedding of PE or just to a “tick-box” exercise. They will discuss the implications (such as career progression, funding success and researcher’s development) on individual researchers when they’re struggling to balance excessive workloads. The arguments for each side will then be presented and an open debate will follow. We will facilitate the debate referencing our experience in Aberdeen via our Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund, where compulsory PE plans within seed corn research grants/fellowships was implemented, with varying outcomes. The aim of the session is to identify the most compelling arguments surrounding public engagement in research.
Key Learning Points:
Learn about approaches to public engagement advocacy across the sector, including our experiences at Aberdeen; Become aware of the positive and negative arguments to the compulsory inclusion of public engagement in research projects and gain insights of academic responses to such an approach; Develop ideas and strategies that could be used to embed public engagement in your own institution.
|Dr Barbara Gorgoni||University of Aberdeen|
|Dr Kenneth Skeldon||Wellcome Genome Campus|
|Dr Jenifer Scott||University of Aberdeen|
|Theme:||Public Engagement and Impact, Translation|
|Level:||Operational / Administration|
|Date:||7th Jun 2017|
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