The Interact 2019 Sympossium took place in Preston last year, in a world which now feels barely recognisable! It formed part of a biennial series of symposia which aim to foster a community of active public engagement practitioners across academia and industry in the physical sciences. The day itself was a valuable experience to share expertise, network and foster ideas to enrich public engagement practice.
The symposium was co-organised by SEPnet, the Science and Technology Facilities Council, the Institute of Physics, the Ogden Trust, the Royal Astronomical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the University of Central Lancashire (who acted as the 2019 hosts). The organisers are carrying out a longitudinal evaluation of the symposium series to access it’s impact on the sector, and to better ascertain what is needed from our organisations to support academics and industry professionals in their roles as public engagement practitioners. The report from Interact 2019 has now been published and is available to download from the STFC website. Hard copies are also available on request – please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to some.
We will shortly be sending out a follow up survey to attendees of Interact 2019, to follow up on the impact the symposium has had on their work. We recognise that this has been a rather unusual year and would like to also find out the affect this has had on the sector, and the support that our organisations can provide in the current climate. Pandemic permitting Interact 2021 is scheduled to take place in Cardiff next September.