Our Public Engagement programme aims 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 chemical technologies.
Developing the self-confidence and skills for engaging with diverse public groups has been core to the CSCT. Using an external agency, Science Made Simple, and a large external network of collaborators both the theory and practice of engagement is embedded in the training undertaken by all 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 an almost unbroken record of winning the Vice-Chancellor’s Postgraduate Prize for Public Engagement with Research – Lisa Sargeant (winner) in 2014, Jon Chouler (winner) in 2015, Jemma Rowlandson (winner) in 2016, Emma Sackville (runner up) in 2017 and Bethan Charles (winner) in 2018.
Our students involve young people, families and interested publics through public debates, science cafes, hands-on festival exhibits and media work.
- We took stands to Glastonbury 2019, the EPSRC Physical Sciences Impact Showcase and the Royal Institution’s ‘For Your Inspiration’ event
- We visited many regional primary and secondary schools to deliver workshops
- We have an ongoing collaboration with Bath Spa students to create visual communication resources, and with UWE students to develop interactive digital resources exploring sustainability
- We published two articles in The Conversation in 2019, about biodegradable plastics and plastic pollution in the ocean
- We participated in the Bright SCIdea Challenge 2019
- We were involved in various local science festivals (Festival of Nature, Bath Taps into Science, Science in Radstock)
“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