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Engagement Blog

The Engagement Blog gives a space for those involved in public engagement to discuss their projects and comment on learning from specific elements of public engagement, as well as exploring broader themes around this exciting and emerging field. 

Scroll below for all our 2017 posts, or view our full 2016, 2015 or 2014 archives.

Engagement Blogs

More than a meal: telling a different story about migration and refugees
17 September 2018

In May 2018, we supported Olivia Sheringham, School of Geography, through the Small Grants, to deliver an event at Walthamstow Garden Party with chairty, Stories and Supper. Below she reflects on how such events can change the dominant narrative about migration and refugees. 

Centre of the Cell goes into the community
10 September 2018

Earlier this year, the Centre for Public Engagement launched a Community Engagement Funding stream. Centre of the Cell used the money to take their science shows into the local community at the Ideas Store in Whitechapel. Very different from their usual classrooms or their Pod at the Blizard building, what did they learn from the experience? 

Back to school with the Institute of Research in School
3 September 2018

As students head back to school in their droves, we catch up with Dr Lizzie Rushton, Head of Evidence and Evaluation, Institute for Research in Schools and Honorary Senior Research Associate, UCL Institute of Education, on their innovative public engagement scheme to bring cutting edge research into the classroom. 

Seeing STARS: Public engagement through mentoring and performance
27 August 2018

Through our Small Grants scheme, the CPE supported Mojisola Adebayo, School of English and Drama, to host a staged reading of her play STARS-along with a mentoing week at Ovalhouse Theatre. Below she shares her experiences. 

Mole rats on display
20 August 2018

Chris Faulkes, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, and Julie Freeman, School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, were invited to take part in the 2018 Royal Society Summer exhibition with their RAT Systems project. As the deadline to be part of 2019 approaches, they share their experiences of the exhibition: 

The Love Machine: Exploring the Neuroscience of Romance at the Science Museum, London
13 August 2018

Do opposites attract? Do the opinions of friends and family matter? Are arguments a healthy part of a relationship? As part of the Science Museum's Pride Late in June, David Saunders, supported by a CPE Small Grant, produced the Love Machine: a series of immersive audio-visual performances to share his research into the history of attempts to answer those questions. 

Europe at all costs- how can researchers visually change the message about migration
5 August 2018

Sarah Wolff, School of Politics and International Relations, has collaborated with an anthropologist, Aziz Hlaoua and film maker Laurent Fontaine Czackzes as part of her research on migration. She tells us about her experience of filming in Calais and the challenges arising from filming a documentary with and by people in exile.


‘The doctor will see you now’
30 July 2018

How do you get teenagers with asthma to take control of their condition? The Centre for Public Engagement awarded the Asthma in Schools project a small grant in November 2016 to develop films to explore how teenagers can communciate with their GPs about their condition. 

Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund Tissue Bank (PCRFTB)
18 July 2018

Earlier this year, we piloted a new PPI Grants scheme support active public involvement in health-related research at QMUL. We supported the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund Tissue Bank at Barts Cancer Institute hosted an interactive discussion-led event with patients and families. Rhiannon Roberts shares her experiences of the day

Fake a knee at the Science Museum
15 July 2018

As part of The Science Museum's recent Women in Engineering Family Festival led by the Science Museum, Dr Tina Chowdhury built a fake knee with families as part of her project The BioEngineering experience. 

London Bound: Being Human Festival Hubs announced
9 July 2018

As Queen Mary University of London is announced as one of only six Being Human hubs across the country, Katherine McAlpine, Public Engagement Officer, shares some of the highlights of the London Bound programme for Being Human Festival.

2 July 2018

In February 2018, Jessica Jacobs, School of Geography, applied for a CPE Small Grant to develop and deliver a workshop with New Orleans residents to map their city. Below she shares her reflections: 

Rhythms of the Heart
26 June 2018

Heart & Music explored the connections between music and heart rhythms. The organisers, Elaine Chew, Professor of Digital Media at QMUL’s School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Pier Lambiase, Professor of Cardiology at UCL and Barts Heart Centre, and Peter Taggart, Emeritus Professor of Cardiac Electrophysiology at UCL reflect on the challenges, aims, and highlights of the event: 

RHS A bit of CS4FN - computer science support for primary schools
22 June 2018

QMUL's Computer Science for Fun project uses everyday concepts to help introduce computer science research to young people in a friendly way


Gender in the Contemporary World: reflections from the organisers
18 May 2018

In December 2017, the Centre for Public Engagement awarded Ynda Jas and Elisa Passoni a Small Grant to support their Gender in the contemporary world conference. We caught up with them to get their reflections: 

RHS 250 Do the over 65y want technology to help them take their medication?
15 May 2018

In 2015 Anna De Simoni was awarded a small CPE grant to organise two workshops in two community centres in London with over 65 years old on daily medications.  The topic of discussion was whether they consider technology helpful with their daily medication taking. Her post summarises these conversations, which have informed a successful National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) programme grant application and offer insights to clinicians and policy makers about the potential role of technologies in medicine taking in this patient group.

Talking Trauma at the Big Bang Fair
16 April 2018

The Centre for Trauma Sciences were awarded a Large Grant from the Centre for Public Engagement last year. Below, we catch up with how they're getting on with their project: 

Kiyma Canina: Online self-help programme
7 February 2018

Ozlem Eyelm has created an online self-help programme for managing suicidal thoughts and worries for the Turkish-speaking populations in the UK and in the Netherlands. Nominated for an Public Engagement Award at the Engagement and Enterprise Awards 2018, Ozlem shares her experience.

Syria: A Story of Conflict
1 February 2018

Since September 2016, Chris Phillips has been working with the Imperial War Museum (IWM) as curator for a public exhibition on the Syrian Civil War. Nominated for an Interact Award Public Engagement Award at the Engagement and Enterprise Awards 2018, and the exhibition about to move to IWM North, Chris reflects on his experience. 

Muscling In! Developing Science Shows Collaboratively with Schools
11 January 2018

At the Engagement & Enterprise Awards 2017, Suzanne Eldridge, William Harvey Research Institute and Ameerah Khan, Katie Chambers, Centre of the Cell were finalists for an INTERACT award, celebrating the partnerships that often underpin great public engagement. Below, Suzanne Eldridge shares her experience of being part of the project

Katie's Team - our Engagement and Enterprise Awards nomination
13 December 2017

As nominations close for the Engagement and Enterprise Awards, we asked some of last year's finalists and winners about their projects, and what it means to them.

The Potential of Collaboration between the Arts and Research
4 May 2017

Cathy McIlwaine has collaborated with arts organisations and performance as part of her research into Latin American communities in the UK. Here she discusses how these collaborations can enhance the arts and research while encouraging positive social change.

The Matter of Objects: Putting on an Interdisciplinary Exhibition
20 April 2017

 The Matter of Objects exhibition brought together artists and history students to create a public exhibition exploring the meaning of objects. In their second blog post the organisers discuss bringing the collaborators together and holding the exhibition for the public.

The Matter of Objects: Setting up a collaborative exhibition
6 April 2017

 The Matter of Objects exhibition brought together artists and history students to create a public exhibition exploring the meaning of objects. In their first blog post the organisers discuss their motivations and how they brought the exhibition together.

Are we in Control? Giving Back Control to Audiences in Public Debates
23 March 2017

 Public debates are a common means of communicating research, but what goes into these events and how can they be designed to encourage audience engagement? Magda Osman has been involved in the set up and delivery of these panels and shares her insights.

The joy of mobile cinemas: Screening PILI in rural Tanzania
8 March 2017

 Engagement and Enterprise Awards Winner Sophie Harman shares her work producing PILI, a film capturing the real stories behind her research into women living with AIDS/HIV in Africa involving real women living with the condition itself.

The joy of mobile cinemas: Screening PILI in rural Tanzania
8 March 2017

 Engagement and Enterprise Awards Winner Sophie Harman shares her work producing PILI, a film capturing the real stories behind her research into women living with AIDS/HIV in Africa involving real women living with the condition itself.

Subjectivity: The Next Challenge for Evidence-Based Policymaking?
7 February 2017

Towards the end of last year Helen McCarthy organised a symposium discussing how humanities and social science scholars can contribute to policy making. Her post summarises these conversations and assesses methods for ensuring subjective experience is considered by policymakers.

The launch of the CPE, in 2012 Goodbye Catalyst
10 April 2015


The Sound of Discovery The Sound of Discovery
10 November 2014


PhD students at aboutflow Observing attitudes to public engagement at aboutflow
15 October 2014

In September I facilitated public engagement training for fifteen PhD students from the aboutflow programme. The purpose of the week was for each student to leave with a plan for a public engagement project and a better understanding of research communication, but more generally I was interested in their attitudes to public engagement and what affects these.

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