HSRU Researcher Heads Stateside to Explore Creative Science Communication

HSRU Researcher Heads Stateside to Explore Creative Science Communication

HSRU PhD graduate Dr Heidi Gardner has been away from the Unit since Christmas, on the first leg of her Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship travels. 

Heidi is one of 150 Fellows from the 2018 program, and her project aims to explore creative communication methods that can be incorporated within the UK’s science blogging community.

Her Fellowship began in January, and the first leg included visits to Canada (Toronto), and the USA (New York, New Hampshire and Washington DC), so we’re catching up with her briefly before she heads out on the next leg of adventures, which will see her explore science communication and creativity in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Heidi used the first part of the Fellowship to visit established science communicators such as Samantha Yammine, Prof Dawn Bazely, Prof Imogen Coe, Dr Vicky Forster, as well as visit institutions and companies that are working to infuse creativity into the way that science is presented to the public.

Heidi notes that a visit to the US’s National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in Washington DC was a personal highlight as she was able to view artwork created by Diane Burko. Diane is a painter and photographer that uses her artwork to explore geological phenomena particularly linked to climate change; her recent exhibit as part of the NAS’s Cultural Programs looks as the impact that climate change is having on landscapes from glaciers to coral reefs.

Much of the art that Heidi has been exploring over the last few weeks has focussed on significant societal issues such as climate change, and she now plans to use the next part of her Fellowship to focus on how these communication techniques can be used to connect the public with issues pertinent to healthcare and health services research.

We’re certainly looking forward to following Heidi’s adventures on the second and final leg of her Fellowship travels over the coming month! If you’d like to follow her travels more closely, she’s blogging throughout her trip, and is also updating us via Twitter.

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