Public Engagement

Public Engagement

HERU has always placed people at the heart of our research and we see public involvement in research as a continuum that engages patients and the public as partners in developing research ideas, in research applications, in steering groups and advisory panels, and in survey development. We also see involving the public in research as about disseminating research and discussing research with the public.



HERU staff and students have led and participated in a number of events, including PechKucha events on calorie labelling, minimum unit pricing of alcohol and nudging people to make better healthcare decisions and a Café Scientifique events on alcohol pricing. We have also participated in recent science festivals in Aberdeen, including the British Science Festival, the May Festival, Explorathon and European Researcher Nights. Public engagements activities are listed in the Other Presentations section of the website and some recent activities are featured below.


Explorathon 17

HERU took part in the Explorathon’17 activities in Aberdeen city centre in September 2017. We had an exhibit at the European Researchers event in the Bon Accord shopping centre. As part of the exhibit members of the public were asked to decide which of four personalised health scenarios they would choose to fund. The event aimed to get the public thinking about health economics and funding decisions, and six HERU staff and PhD students were on hand to discuss the choices and the work of the Unit.

Explorathon activity

scenarios 1 scenarios 2



The different healthcare funding scenarios and the results are pictured. It looks from the findings and feedback that the Aberdeen public saw Joanne’s situation as self-inflicted and supported treating Daniel, even though the success of the treatment was not guaranteed. This was a very unscientific survey though (!) and the point of the exercise was to engage the public in the idea of health economics and the research that HERU is doing.

HERU staff and students at the Bon Accord Centre for Explorathon '17

HERU at Bon Accord



Luis Loría, of HERU, took part in a TEDx Talk at Aberdeen University in March 2017. TEDx Talks are events for speakers to showcase their ideas in under 19 minutes and Luis spoke about his PhD research on using discrete choice experiments to study consumer preferences for bus travel in Aberdeen. The talk is available on the TEDx Talks YouTube channel.

Loria, L.E. (2017) 'Familiarity breeds liking: experiences from Europe’s largest hydrogen bus fleet', TEDx Talk, Aberdeen, 30 March 2017.


STEM Ambassadors

HERU Research Fellows Dr Zoé Ejebu and Dr Patrícia Norwood are STEM Ambassadors at Aberdeen University. The STEM Ambassadors scheme aims to inspire young people to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics subjects as career and study options. As part of their activities as STEM Ambassadors Zoé and Patricia have gone out to local schools and talked to pupils and staff about their work and how mathematics is applied in practice.

Patricia Norwood at Mearns Academy

In March 2017 Patrícia Norwood took part in the “Selling Advanced Higher Maths” initiative by visiting pupils at Mearns Academy. Patrícia gave a presentation on research done at HERU and how it direct impacts on policy and the general public lives and how Maths informs the methods used in that research.

Practical examples were given to show how Mathematical analysis was used to address concrete health care issues. The last part of the talk consisted of a Q&A where students were given the opportunity to ask questions regarding a professional career in Academia.


In February 2017, Dr Zoé Ejebu delivered talks to staff and pupils at Bucksburn Primary School in Aberdeen and Findochty Primary School in Aberdeenshire about her work as a HERU researcher,

Zoé Ejebu at Bucksburn Academy

HERU's public engagement activities are detailed in the ‘Other presentations’ section of the website. 

We will continue to work with the University’s Public Engagement with Researc Unit to look for opportunities for further engagement with patients and the public.

Please contact Patrícia Norwood for further details of our engagement activities and to discuss participation in events.