INTERACT Symposium, co-organised by STFC, welcomed over two hundred guests to the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) last week for a day of public engagement learning and inspiration.
INTERACT aims to bring together people involved with science public engagement to explore how best to tell the stories behind scientific research, share experiences and give participants the opportunity to learn new ways to engage with audiences.
A series of workshops throughout the day covered topics ranging from challenging children’s stereotypes of science, through to evaluation techniques and science and art. Delegates also had the opportunity to try out new techniques and materials in a large marketplace. This included the STFC planetarium, bringing to life the science of Harry Potter, computational games and a giant dinosaur! Former STFC Public Engagement Fellow Phil Manning was part of a team from the University of Manchester on site with a replica Gorgosaurus. The University of Manchester Professor said: “I’m keen to make my work as accessible as possible. It’s our job as scientists to be ambassadors for the exciting research we do and make it understandable and relevant.”
Dr Victoria Egerton, Professor Phil Manning and Dr Sally Hollingworth from the University of Manchester with the Gorgosaurus replica skeleton.
The delegates who attended were from universities, Government laboratories, charities, schools and other organisations.
Derek Gillespie, Interim Associate Director of STFC, said: “Public engagement isn’t just telling people about research and hoping they’ll learn something, it’s about having a conversation with them and finding out what they want to learn and how what we do may be relevant to them.”
The INTERACT Symposium was organised by STFC along with partners UCLan, the Institute of Physics, the South East Physics Network, the Ogden Trust, the Royal Astronomical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Last updated: 17 September 2019