PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Whose knowledge is it?
Engagement approaches that challenge public health research as we know it

Sian Aggett   The Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust works with researchers and the creative industries to help societies to explore and become involved with biomedical science, its future directions, its impacts on society and the ethical questions that it brings. Alongside support for dialogue and informed debate, we seek to spread the delight and interest many derive from science and its intrinsic spirit of curiosity.

Siân Aggett (International Engagement Project Manager) and Chris Stock (Researcher Support Manager) support scientific researchers (in low and middle income countries and in the UK respectively) in engaging with communities, public and policy audiences. Together we would like to lead one or two of the proposed sessions below (in order of preference).

We are both experienced facilitators and have worked extensively in the field over the last 15 years Public Engagement with Science v Science Communication- Challenging the ownership of knowledge.

This session will look at some of the examples from the International Engagement Awards from the Wellcome Trust. The projects showcased will demonstrate the shift in power between scientific research and that of the “community”. The projects will demonstrate a spectrum from the totally researcher led to community led research (using examples from India, South America and Africa). The session will involve PowerPoint slides, some video and some loose group discussions on the following questions.

- What can this mean for the scientific industry (where publications are everything!)? - For policy making?- Does this approach have a greater chance of having a policy impact? How do we foster this?
- For public health? Can this approach lead to public health outcomes? At what scale? How can the impact be measured etc?

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.