Pint of Science has won a Building Capacity Project Award in this year’s Vice-Chancellor’s Public Engagement with Research Awards, which was led by Dr Naveed Akbar (pictured below), Radcliffe Department of Medicine. These Awards celebrate excellence in public engagement activity across the University, and RDM won not one but two awards on the evening.
The announcement was made at an awards ceremony at the Keble College, Oxford, on 10th July hosted by Vice-Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson.
A Pint of Science encourages, facilitates and supports public engagement with scientific research in informal settings, such as pubs.
The events target young adult audiences that are not actively engaged in science through researcher-led informal talks, science-based pub quizzes and games and attract over 800 attendees every year at 20 events.
“The events are entirely run by volunteers who are all Oxford researchers,” says Dr Naveed Akbar, Radcliffe Department of Medicine & Pint of Science coordinator.
Capacity building is a major aim of Oxford’s Pint of Science project and over 100 Oxford researchers have taken part from a range of career levels.
We have provided guidance and support for lots of other early career researchers many of whom have gone on to organise their own events. To attract more marginalised audiences we’re working with the charities Oxfordshire Homeless Pathways and Living with Dementia to widen our reach.
- Dr Naveed Akbar
“We also aim to work with researchers from a broader range of disciplines” adds Dr Akbar.
Researchers commented that enhancing their communications skills is a major benefit of their participation and the evaluation has demonstrated:
- 32% of researchers said that their participation has subsequently impacted on their research
- 31% of researchers said that they went on to undertake further public engagement activities.
“It’s always good to stop and think broadly about one's own research, why you do it, what it means in the context of everyday lives,” commented one researcher who took part.
Feedback from the public audiences was also very favourable. “It was great, so engaging as well as fun! I can’t think of a way to improve it, I just really enjoyed the whole atmosphere as well as learning lots of new information,” said on attendee at a Pint of Science event.
Professor Alison Woollard, Academic Champion for Public Engagement with Research, University of Oxford says:
“These awards highlight the many ways that Oxford’s researchers engage with the public. This includes informing and empowering people by sharing research findings; working in partnership with communities to shape research and enabling citizens to take part in the research by collecting and analysing data through Citizen Science. These winning projects also demonstrate that excellence in engagement results in a ‘win-win’ for both researchers and publics alike.”
About the awards
The Vice-Chancellor's Public Engagement with Research Awards recognise and reward those at the University who undertake high-quality engagement activities and have contributed to building capacity in this area. The awards are awarded in three categories – Early Career Researcher, Building Capacity and Projects. Entrants can be at any level in their career and activities of any scale are welcome.
Winning entries receive recognition for their achievements at the Vice-Chancellor's Public Engagement with Research Awards (10 July 2019).The Vice-Chancellor’s prize will also be announced at the ceremony and the winner will receive a cash prize of £1,500.