Engaging at the Parliament

A team led by the University of Aberdeen’s Public Engagement with Science unit will today (Tuesday June 8) host an exhibit at the Scottish Parliament during an event to celebrate excellence in science, engineering and technology in Scotland.

One of only nine from across Scotland, the exhibit will be co-presented by Satrosphere and TechFest-SetPoint.

It will highlight how the strategy for public engagement being driven forward within the University has helped foster new links with communities across the north-east and beyond, while providing a valuable mechanism to support and empower University staff and students to get involved.

The annual programme, which was recently awarded a top-level grant from the Scottish Government, includes one of the most expansive Cafe Science offerings anywhere in the UK and also links into high profile calendar events such as National Science and Engineering Week, the Word Festival and the TechFest Festival in September. 

The exhibiting team will include recent grant awardees in public engagement activity including Dr Alun Hughes and Samantha Flannigan, from the University’s Institute of Medical Sciences, who recently won RCUK grants for their activities The Secret Life of the Skeleton and Car Boot Science respectively.

Dr Claire Thorne from dot.rural, the University’s Rural Digital Economy Research Hub, will be describing their ambitious programme for engaging the public with the latest developments in digital technologies.

Liz Hodge of TechFest-SetPoint and Lynsey Thompson of Satrosphere will also be on hand to showcase the considerable infrastructures in place in the north-east which form a crucial part of the partnership approach embedded in the public engagement agenda.

Dr Ken Skeldon, who heads up the University of Aberdeen Public Engagement with Science Unit said: “We are delighted to be invited to showcase our programme at the Scottish Parliament. We receive valuable support from the Office of the Chief Scientific Advisor which allows our programme to grow and our team to pilot experimental concepts.

“Over the coming months we will be embedding our science programme further into the social fabric of our communities via a range of novel ideas and our partnership approach.” 

The science engagement activities championed by the University and its partners played a major role in attracting the British Science Association to Aberdeen in 2012 when the University will play host to the British Science Festival. 

Today’s event at the Parliament is hosted by Liam McArthur MSP, Vice Convenor of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Science and Technology, together with Professor Anne Glover CBE and Mr Ian Ritchie CBE, Co-Chairs of the Scottish Science Advisory Council (SSAC).

The exhibition will be followed by the latest meeting of the Scottish Science Advisory Council. 

Further information on the University’s public engagement with science activities can be obtained by contacting Dr Ken Skeldon or visiting www.abdn.ac.uk/science