Public engagement is a term that is being thrown around more and more these days but what does it mean to us?
Basically, as scientists we need to be able to talk about our work, not only to other scientists but also to the media, patients or clients. Grant funding bodies have recently been pushing to get all scientist involved and The Wellcome Trust are even asking for details of public engagement commitment from all funding applicants.
If you would like to improve your scientific communication skills or just flesh out your CV, there are many ways to get involved.
- If you can spare an hour or an afternoon contact Grace Sim or Jon Parry from Widening Participation who need helpers to show off the RVC to local schools.
- Download the PDF: Why and how to communicate your research - a guide
- You could get involved with Researchers in Residence - which involves going into a school for four days over the course of a year to make science fun. This will build your communication skills while gaining classroom teaching experience. (www.researchersinresidence.ac.uk/cms/)
- Get involved with Café Scientifique, a forum for debating science issues in cafes or bars. (www.cafescientifique.org/)
- The British Science association organises a number of varied events across the country and you could always help out. (www.britishscienceassociation.org/web/)
The RVC holds regular public engagement development workshops with the aim of developing communication skills for different audiences - see the HR Training and Development Programme or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.