I:DNA - Practical Engagement
I:DNA is a Wellcome Trust funded project that was created to engage the public with research led by Professor Felicity Boardman, in conjunction with Dr Corinna Clark, at Warwick Medical School. The research explores the experiences of people living with inherited conditions and their attitudes towards genetic medicine.
This video provides an overview of the art installation produced to explore these themes. You can read more about the project as a whole here.
One of the benefits of having a team with very diverse expertise and experience meant that we could employ various methods of engagement. The researchers were skilled at developing ‘short elevator pitch’ summaries of the research findings, and STAMP CIC, as media professionals, were able to direct, edit, and produce several professional and engaging films using our content (lectures, presentations, interviews). As a Team, we used our diverse knowledge and experiences (professional and personal) to develop engagement methods that would work best for each location and target audience. For example, having knowledge of, and connections with, the performing arts enabled us to include the invisible theatre performance at Millennium Point, and experience of engaging children (as parents and grandparents) helped us to develop the craft workshop ideas with our artist.
Through the team’s professional contacts, we were able to call upon the expertise of others to contribute to specific aspects of the installation and tour, for example, Entify (built the sculpture), the choirs (soundscape), and our workshop collaborators Beth Young (clinical geneticist), Tammy Woodrow (artist) and Nigel Hutchinson (poet). We produced numerous promotional materials, often in collaboration with an event or the University media team. Being supported by people with expert knowledge at the relevant time points ensured that we delivered the best experience possible.
Other skills we developed or refined as part of the process, for example, creating the web pages and web resources. During the covid restrictions we, as a matter of necessity, improved our digital skills, such as running online and hybrid events, and developed our skills in engaging audiences using these different methods.
This page is part of a case study produced by Professor Felicity Boardman and her team reflecting upon their learnings from their I:DNA public engagement project. They have broken this down into the following sections to make it easy access the part you're interested in quickly.
- Overview of the project
- Engagement with sensitive topics
- Translating research into art
- Involving the public/partners in research
- Digital engagement
- Practical engagement
- Embedding public engagement into your teaching
- Finding your public
- Putting on an event
- Public engagement as a research method
You can also find out more about the research project as a whole on the Warwick Medical School pagesLink opens in a new windowLink opens in a new window.