- Specialist interests
Science communication, (upstream) public engagement with science and technology, scientific citizenship, citizen scientists.
- Isotope forums
Digital media (websites, blogs, wikis, podcasts, online newspapers, conferences and discussion groups, e-zines), broadcast media (digital television and radio), print media (newspapers and magazines), schools visits and demonstrations, science centres and museums, public lectures and demonstrations.
- Isotope interests
I am currently working on two multidisciplinary action research projects:
- As The Open University Champion for Public Engagement with Research and academic lead on the RCUK-funded Catalyst for Public Engagement with Research project, 'An open research university'.
- As the Principal Investigator on the RCUK-funded School-University Partnership Initiative Project, 'Engaging Opportunities'.
I am particularly interested in public engagement activities that allow school children, adult learners and other citizens to discuss and debate aspects of contemporary scientific knowledge in terms of the relevance and impact that it is likely to have on their lives, including issues of communication, governance, risk and ethical issues.
To these ends, I have conducted extensive research, and teaching and training. I have also participated in a number of activities, for example, developing the Isotope website (with colleagues at the Open University), but also visiting schools, producing online materials and giving public lectures. Examples of activities include, working with school-age children to co-produce plans for television programmes that portray science, technology, engineering and mathematics (see www.open.ac.uk/invisible-witnesses).
I have also worked with adult learners, producing activities that allow them to discuss media reporting of complex contemporary science-based issues, e.g. BSE/vCJD, cloning, nuclear energy, species extinction and organ donation. A key aim of these activities was to provide a supportive collaborative forum where participants can engage with these topics and learn from each other.
I have also produced materials for web sites that examine aspects of contemporary science communication and how this can influence (upstream) public engagement with science and technology.
- Member for
- 4 years 50 weeks