Some of you may know of ScienceGrrl- a grassroots organisation which aims to show that science is for EVERYONE! We do this in a myriad of ways; by being positive role models, by increasing opportunities for young people to engage with science, myth-busting and awareness raising.
There are a number of local chapters of Science Grrl, and hurrah, we have one in Preston! Local chapters link likeminded people with the aim of delivering local initiatives that address issues around gender equality in science, and generally getting more people to love, appreciate and enjoy science.
You don’t have to be female, or a scientist to come along to a local meeting. The next Preston meet-up is planned for Wed 18th September, from 5-7pm, in Forum Bar in the centre of Preston. We’ve no real fixed agenda, it’s just a chance to meet up, talk through some ideas and see what happens.
If you’d like to come along you can tweet Jo @microjology or just show up.
So this week we held our first informal, drop-in discussion forum around public and community engagement, which was so well attended we ran out of seats- fantastic. Great to see that UCLan is engaged with the idea of engagement 🙂
Fuelled by coffee, rocky road cake and mini gingerbread men, the forum generated some super new ideas and interesting and provocative feedback on EngageUCLan’s plans for implementing the Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research. We even managed to match make some ideas with skills on the ‘lonely hearts board’. Move over Cilla (now I’m showing my age).
Watch this space for more on plans for a STEM Women Photoshoot and the next Lancashire Science Festival, which is going EXTREME for 2013
I’ve been the ‘public engagement person’ for a little while now, and things are going well. Our researchers are really getting into the spirit of public engagement, in all its many shapes and sizes. Some highlights:
The Lancashire Science Festival- 5000 visitors, great feedback, a perception-changing milestone of an event for UCLan
The Science of Superheroes lecture, where engineering meets comic book enthusiasm, taken out onto the road to a comic book convention
The more joined-up nature of things. Cross-institutional, cross-community working. Shared ideas, challenges, projects, cake.
It would be fair to say that there is some real momentum now. So I’m pleased to open up the Engage UCLan forum. An informal drop-in session, on a Wednesday afternoon, for conversation over coffee and cake. All welcome to discuss anything at all around public and community engagement. Yes, I did say there would be cake.