Outreach & Public Engagement Workshop at RAS 20 March 2024

GRADnet’s in-person workshop, Developing Knowledge and Skills in Public Engagement, was delivered on the 20th March 2024 at the Royal Astronomical Society. The workshop was led and facilitated by SEPnet Director of Outreach and Public Engagement, Laura Meade, and SEPnet Outreach and Public Engagement Officers, Nuala O’Flynn (University of Hertfordshire), Dr Darren Baskill (University of Sussex), and Dr Eliza Hunt (Queen Mary University of London).

The interactive workshop was attended by enthusiastic postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers and aimed to ignite their passion for public engagement and act as a catalyst for fostering meaningful connections between researchers and the wider community. 

Throughout the afternoon, participants were encouraged to discuss their own research, and worked in groups to plan out the beginnings of a public engagement project linked to their work. The afternoon included:

  • An introduction to public engagement: defining and discussing what meaningful public engagement is, showcasing a range of public engagement projects that have been developed at SEPnet universities, and signposting where to find more examples.
  • Exploring why and how we engage with different audiences: considering different groups of people, what their interests are, and how to link this to your research.
  • Tips on logistical aspects of planning an activity: signposting to grant schemes, budgeting advice, and guidance on the best times of year to engage with different groups of people.
  • Evaluation advice: thinking about how to measure the impact of your activities, and the different purposes and motivations behind reporting.

Thank you to the Outreach team for delivering this useful and insightful workshop on behalf of GRADnet.