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Queen Mary signs manifesto for public engagement

Queen Mary, University of London has signed the National Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) manifesto for public engagement, cementing the College's belief that "universities and research institutes have a major responsibility to society through their public engagement, and that they have much to gain in return". The move comes in the same year that the College launches its own Centre for Public Engagement and re-affirms a long-standing, on-going commitment to sharing knowledge and engaging with local communities that has been at the heart of the College’s ethos since its inception.

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Centre of the Cell - QM's science education facility
Centre of the Cell - QM's science education facility

2012 also marks a significant anniversary for Queen Mary (QM): the College celebrates 125 years since it began life as the People’s Palace – a philanthropic centre that brought education and culture to the East End of London. QM’s close interaction with its local community has remained strong over the ensuing decades and this landmark year provides an appropriate context for the signing of the NCPPE manifesto – a natural extension of 125 years of endeavour in public engagement.

Queen Mary’s Centre for Public Engagement (CPE) – the official launch of which will take place in September 2012 – will be dedicated to promoting the exchange of knowledge between the College and outside audiences: business, public and third sectors, community organisations, and the wider public, with the aim that the work QM conducts achieves maximum economic and social impact.

Involving staff and students from across the College, the CPE will provide a focus for the diverse range of public engagement activities taking place across Queen Mary; foster and grow new activities, and research best practice in the field. Ultimately the Centre will embed this important activity in the College culture and provide QM with a high profile national leadership role in engagement activities with the aim of benefiting local and national society as a whole.

Queen Mary’s Professor Mike Curtis, Director of the Centre for Public Engagement said: “Public engagement is in Queen Mary’s DNA: the College began life in the 1880s essentially as a public engagement project with the People’s Palace, a visionary scheme to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of people living in the East End. The launch of the CPE is an obvious evolutionary step for us, reinforcing as it does our commitment to sharing knowledge.”

Examples of the College’s impressive, more recent history of public engagement include the multi-award winning Whitechapel based science education facility Centre of the Cell and the highly-lauded campaign to raise interest in computer science, cs4fn.

The national co-ordinating centre for public engagement can be found at

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