Swansea University Public Engagement forum – PEP Talk
The members of the Swansea University Public Engagement Forum have a broad range of experience in public engagement providing insight and input from across a diverse range of disciplines and sectors, including private, public and third sector engagement. The members are: Rhian Melita Morris – Science, Kate Spiller - Arts, Humanities and Law, Dr Ian Mabbett – Chemistry, Dr Richard Johnston – Materials Engineering, Dr Aditee Mitra – Biosciences, Sharon Bishop – SPECIFIC, Bruce Rogers - Public Engagement Officer for Engineering, Emma Nehemiah –Public Engagement and Research Marketing Officer MRID.
The aim of the forum is to promote, support and embed public engagement in professional practice at Swansea University.
We do this by; coordinating, supporting and organising events and activities which support the forums. We support researchers and staff to undertake public engagement activities, share opportunities, ideas and opportunities for best practice. We provide assistance in sourcing, signposting and disseminating funding opportunities alongside training and mentorship for public engagement activities. We also support and encourage wider participation in public engagement activities and promote public engagement across the institution as a pathway to impact via research and across broader professional practices. The forum encourages activities that embed a change in culture which supports, encourages and rewards the efforts of staff who undertake such activities, recognising the importance and significance of public engagement at Swansea University.
The forum also recognises the positive contributions researchers and professional staff at Swansea University make to global societal challenges through the impact of our research. We recognise public engagement as a mechanism for impact that can influence individuals, communities, industry and policy developments in supporting the delivery of benefits and changes that our research activities deliver.
PEP Talk have organised, coordinated and supported the following public engagement events:
FameLab is a communications competition designed to engage and entertain by breaking down science, technology and engineering concepts into three minute presentations. This years’ heat was hosted in partnership with the Science café at The Dylan Thomas Centre, four contestants went through to the regional finals at Techniquest and Amy Jenkins, Psychology won the regional final and progresses to the national final.
British Science Festival
Swansea University to host British Science Festival from 6th - 9th September 2016
Led by PVC Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott, and supported by members of Swansea University Public Engagement Forum who were instrumental in securing the hosting of the British Science Festival in Swansea in 2016. A family weekend will also take place on the weekend of 10th - 11th September 2016, coordinated by the University, the BSA, and local partners across the city.
Being Human Festival
In 2015 The Being Human Festival at Swansea University had a theme of ‘Heritage, Health and Wellbeing’ which involved an exploration of wellbeing and heritage through public-facing activities ( including debate, poetry, dramatic performance, art and enterprise) at a variety of venues including the Hafod-Morfa Copperworks, Clyne Farm Centre, the National Waterfront Museum and the University’s Singleton campus. The festival was made possible by a grant from the festival organisers, the School of Advanced Study, University of London and the support of the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the British Academy (BA) and the Wellcome Trust.
Cheltenham Science Festival
We work along the Cheltenham Science festival organisers to identify, support and recommend academics to present their research to a wider public audience, which supports, their development and the promotion of Swansea University.
The forum delivers training to support the uptake of researchers and staff who wish to undertake public engagement. These are some of the courses we have provided:
- Public Engagement and Impact
- Pathways to Impact
- PEP Talk – the public engagement forum
- Three PE projects perspectives
Please get in touch if you’d like to request training or support or to be added to the distribution list.
Swansea University to host British Science Festival 2016
The British Science Association (BSA) made the exciting announcement Swansea University will host the next British Science Festival, from 6th - 9th September 2016.
The dinner was attended by PVC Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott, Chair of Council Sir Roger Jones, Ben Lucas PM for BSF 2016, Jacqui Bowen Public Relations Manager, and members of Swansea University Public Engagement Forum Sharon Bishop, Rhian Melita Morris, Dr Aditee Mitra and Dr Richard Johnston, who were instrumental in securing the hosting of the Bristish Science Festival in Swansea in 2016
The annual four-day festival is Europe’s longest-standing national event connecting people with scientists, engineers, technologists and social scientists, and we are delighted the BSA has chosen Swansea to hold this vibrant celebration of science, technology, and engineering.
Swansea University is driving knowledge economy growth and hosting this iconic festival will be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the power of science to deliver social and economic transformation.
The British Science Festival 2016 will focus on an audience of non-specialist adults with a broad interest in science, delivering 100 events specially curated by the BSA in partnership with the University.
World-leading academics accross all disciplines from Swansea, as well as other institutions and organisations across the UK, will present, discuss, and debate cutting-edge science – across the scientific spectrum including technology, engineering, social sciences and the Arts and Humanities– at a range of different events, from talks to performances.
A Fringe festival for families and community audiences will also take place on the weekend of 10th - 11th September 2016, coordinated by the University, the BSA, and local partners across the city.
We look forward to welcoming the British Science Festival to Swansea in 2016, which will again shine the international spotlight on our world-leading research.
For more information, please visit the BSA website.
Public Engagement with Research
The National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) defines Public Engagement with Research as “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”.
And a definition of 'public' developed from that provided by HEFCE:
''The 'public' includes individuals and groups who do not currently have a formal relationship with an higher education institution (HEI) through teaching, research or knowledge transfer.''
Since its establishment in 1920, the University and its academics have actively engaged with the public to translate its learning and research activities into accessible and relevant terms.
Researchers and research groups at the University proactively engage with more than 72 diverse community groups, cultural amenities, schools and colleges to create a culture where public engagement and inclusivity is regarded as an important and essential activity by the research community.
To access resources on the NCCPE site click here
Swansea University is now a signatory of the Manifesto for Public Engagement - for more informtion on what that means or to download the Manifesto click here
NCCPE Ambassador Scheme
Who is it for?
Anyone passionate about public engagement with higher education. This includes people working in universities and research institutes (support staff, senior managers, academics, students, researchers, etc.) and people working with HEIs. You might be an experienced public engagement practitioner, or might be just starting out with an interest in getting involved in public engagement activity.
Why get involved?
There are key benefits to participants including:
- Support for your own work
- Opportunity to meet others, and develop skills and understanding
- Support to act as a change agent within your own organisation
- Funding to develop your own skills, as well as opportunities to contribute to the network
- Keeping up to date with current thinking on public engagement, and how it relates to HEIs (e.g. REF, Science for All)
Rhian Melita Morris is an NCCPE Public Engagement Ambassador for Swansea University e-mail Rhian
For further information of the Ambassador Scheme click here
The Schools and Colleges Outreach Programme
The Schools and Colleges Outreach Programme web pages may be found here. The pages show case the widening access work which is available to all schools and colleges in the region.
Alison Braddock Strategic, Project Manager (Widening Access) Email