Through our public engagement activities, our researchers have the opportunity to:
- build skills for working effectively with external collaborators
- develop high-quality research with real-world applications
- create public spaces for discussion about the future of sustainable technologies.
Developing the self-confidence and skills for engaging with diverse public groups has been core to the CSCT. Using external training providers who are experts in their field, we have embedded both the theory and practice of engagement in the training undertaken by PhD students within the Centre.
This approach has resulted in a growing cohort of PhD students (over 100 so far) with experience and insight into engagement.
Peer-to-peer support within this cohort has stimulated successful pieces of work including a long-standing collaboration with graphic design students from Bath Spa University and orchestration of a ‘Stand-up Science’ series in Bath. The CSCT has won the Vice-Chancellor’s Postgraduate Prize for Public Engagement with Research or been a runner up for five consecutive years, and has been equally successful at winning or being selected for the finals of the 3-Minute-Thesis competition.
Our researchers involve young people, families and interested publics through public debates, science cafes, hands-on festival exhibits and media work.
- Are plastics good or bad? Find out more about Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) with our downloadable LCA game and the LCA Fact Sheet.
- What wastewater can tell us about community health – What if we told you that every morning, around the world, people wake up with enough data to monitor the coronavirus pandemic? And what if we told you that the first thing they do with it is flush it down the toilet?
- We attended the Festival of Tomorrow in Swindon
- We teamed up with volunteers from Swindon Junior Street Reps to release three films on what they wanted to see in Swindon and the UK to tackle global warming during COP26 – one to tackle sustainable transport and behavioural change around travel, one to discuss reducing food waste, and one to explore the problems and possibilities of plastics.
- We ran a competition for schoolchildren, where they were asked to design the future of clean transport
- We took stands to Green Man, Glastonbury, the EPSRC Physical Sciences Impact Showcase and the Royal Institution’s ‘For Your Inspiration’ event
- We delivered online workshops with primary and secondary primary schools, such as ‘I’m a Scientist/Engineer, Get Me Out of Here!‘
- We have an ongoing collaboration with Bath Spa students to create visual communication resources
- We published three articles in The Conversation, about chemical recycling technologies, biodegradable plastics and plastic pollution in the ocean
- We participated in the Bright SCIdea Challenge
- We were involved in various local science festivals (Festival of Nature, Bath Taps into Science, Science in Radstock)
STEM from home
If you are looking to develop your own science and technology activities at home or fancy visiting a museum from your own desk, here are a few resources that may help:
- Progressive plastics, explained: a series about what a future for plastics could look like
- STEM: Science resources and resources about recycling plastics
- Virtual Museum – Natural History Museum
- Virtual Museum – Science Museum and Science Museum 360 Tour
- BBC Bitesize Science
- Skype a Scientist
- British Science Association
- The Institution of Engineering and Technology
- All About STEM
- Royal Academy of Engineering
- Practical Action
- School Science
“We believe that engaging with a diverse range of publics in areas of technology that have a high degree of societal importance is excellent training for our PhD students.”Professor Matthew Davidson, Director,
Centre for Sustainable and Circular Technologies