Public engagement is a term that is widely used in a variety of sectors – from arts and heritage to science policy and local government. The Higher Education Funding Councils and the UK Research Councils use it to express their ambition for a different, more inclusive relationship between the academic and non-academic worlds. Below are details of two resources which aim to bring together the public and research:
The National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE)
The NCCPE was established in 2008 as part of the £9.2m Beacons for Public Engagement initiative, which aims to create a culture change across the higher education sector. As part of the four year project to create a culture change across the higher education sector they are actively commissioning research and will be launching a fund to support pilot projects that can help in their learning. Details of the fund will be included in their e-newsletter.
Further details of the research programme of the NCCPE and instruction on how to sign up for their newsletter can be found on their website.
Lab UK is a BBC website where members of the public can participate in groundbreaking scientific experiments online. Their experiments are designed and approved by scientists and academics at the forefront of research in their field. Experiments on the BBC website have previously reached huge audiences, with hundreds of thousands of people participating in online experiments from the BBC. Since 2001, the BBC has carried out more than 20 ‘one off’ experiments and tests online. The BBC aims to build on this legacy by bringing all future experiments together under a single brand – Lab UK.
If you would like to get involved, and have a research question that you think will make a compelling Lab UK experiment, they would like to hear from you. Details of Lab UK and information on how to submit an experiment suggestion can be found on their website.