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Reflecting on our last PE Network Conference

Copies of the agenda on a tableEvery year we host a conference for members (and interested non members) of the Public Engagement (PE) Network to come together and have time and space to reflect on PE. We aim to build connections, inspire new ideas, and make people aware there are opportunities out there they can tap in to.

This year (2018) Professor Simon Swain joined us to open the day. Simon is the Pro-Vice Chancellor (PVC) for External Engagement and is a key supporter for the team, along with Professor Pam Thomas (PVC for Research), in championing what we do, and more importantly what all of you do, to the senior leadership team. It's their support that allows us to make key changes at Warwick, like adding Public Engagement to the academic promotions criteria, and bringing the British Science Festival to Coventry. Simon joined us to speak about some of these key successes we've had over the last year, and the exciting opportunities coming up including City of Culture (2021) and European City of Sport (2019).

The Public Engagement Team then took over to share what we've been up to with Pint of Science, the Public Engagement Fund (including announcing the 10 projects we intend to fund this year), the call for the British Science Festival, and introducing Matt Teft, the latest addition to our team and what he/ Kay Doncom have been up to in the QBP including an image competition/ display at UHCW, a stand at New Scientist Live, and their own Public Engagement Fund.

Post a quick coffee top up we were joined by four academics who have been doing amazing work working with communities to co-produce research/ public engagement. This was an inspiring discussion and we hope to see even more of you getting involved in co-production with communities in the future. The four panel members where:

  • Professor Sophie Staniszewska
    • Sophie leads the Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) and Patient Experiences Programme at Warwick Research in Nursing, Warwick Medical School. She has carried out a wide range of studies related to PPI and patient experience and is Co-Editor in Chief of Research Involvement and Engagement.
  • Dr Haley Beer, Assistant Professor at Warwick Business School
    • Hayley studies social value measurement, including in relation to Coventry’s upcoming City of Culture. As individuals with different ethnic backgrounds, household incomes, religions, education, and life trajectories experience cultural events in a variety of ways, social value measurement recognizes and works with the inherent diversity, to listen to, involve, and engage relevant communities.
  • Dr. Goldie Osuri, Associate Professor in Sociology
    • Goldie has been working on a research project on the relationship between Sovereignty and Human Rights in the context of Indian-administered and occupied Kashmir. One aspect of this project has involved co-producing a research agenda and working with The Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, Kashmir.
  • Sophie Greenway, PhD candidate in the Centre for the History of Medicine
    • Sophie has worked with University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, Moat House Leisure and Neighbourhood Centre and currently Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, in each case working out ways of discussing connections between food, health and environment within communities.

Over lunch we were joined by the British Science Association (organisers of the British Science Festival) who were running a drop-in to provide support on applications for the Festival. If you missed them this time then they are running two more of these sessions:

Date

Time

Location

Mon 26 Nov

16.00-17.00

MD1.09 - Warwick Medical School MTC Building

Thu 6 Dec

12.30-13.30

R0.03 - Ramphal, Central Campus

Finally we closed the day by hearing from 6 colleagues from across Warwick sharing their public engagement successes and upcoming opportunities you could be involved with:

  1. Tony Carroll – Business Engagement Manager. Tony and his team aim to identify the business relevance of the research of Warwick social scientists. They are looking to create academic collaborations with business across the Social Sciences – including Economics, Politics, Law, Sociology, Philosophy, multi-disciplinary groups and the Business School.
  2. Stephanie Whitehead – City of Culture Open Call - Warwick and Coventry University are together offering up to ten £2,000 awards to projects bringing together academics from both institutions with cultural organisations and/or arts practitioners or creative industries in Coventry to develop research and public engagement activities with impact which invite the general public to participate and respond.
  3. Corinne Hanlon – Warwick Integrative Synthetic Biology Centre (WISB). Corinne has invested her public engagement and outreach budget to focus on creating a high quality interactive experience that explores CRISPR and its applications. So far they’ve toured the installation at several big events and engaged thousands with the research – including stands at New Scientist Live and Cheltenham Science Festival.
  4. Andy Roadnight – Warwick International Strategy and Relations Team. Take your public engagement worldwide with the help of the ISR team. Discover new partnerships and potential venues you can be tapping into in Europe.
  5. Helen May – Community Engagement Team. Helen works in the Community Engagement Team – sister to the Public Engagement Team and also led by Jane Furze. Discover what the team gets up to and what opportunities there are to connect you to the local community.
  6. Federico Botta – Databeers. Databeers Warwick aims to bring together data experts from industry and academia at a level accessible to a wide audience in the West Midlands. Federico shares how he’s launched the Warwick branch of this event and how he gets new audiences to engage with the event.

If you would like to catch up with them then do drop them an email directly - they would all be pleased to hear from you.

Hopefully you enjoyed the day as much as we did - if you aren't already a member of the PE Network then don't forget you can sign up here to be the first to hear about next year's conference.