The School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences takes an active role in engaging with the public to promote its research activities and science. We have received prestigious funding (Wellcome Trust, BBSRC) to pursue Public Engagement projects. We are actively addressing ways in which we can assess the impact of our Public Engagement activities. Development of Innovation and Engagement activities is a significant element of the School's overall mission. Our public engagement activities are aimed at delivering social and cultural impact, inspiring young people to achieve their full potential, to engender their interest in science, and to inform the public on scientific issues of so they may effectively contribute to open debate.
We achieve this through, for example:
- Participation in festivals, public lectures and talks (e.g. The National Eisteddfod, Techniquest, Cheltenham Science Festival);
- Involvement of the public as researchers. (e.g. Science of Me, School visits, Darwin Centre, The BeeWorld Project);
- Engaging young people in schools to inspire them about science and research (e.g. The School's 'Science of Medicines' pupil engagement activities;
Public Engagement - Science of Medicines:
Case Study Exemplars:
National Eisteddfod Science and Technology: Dr Arwyn Jones, (PHRMY). Welsh Universites team up with the International Bee Keepers Association and the National Botanic Garden of Wales to raise awareness of the importance of pollination in conservation, agriculture and medical sciences. A whole spectrum of activities is being lined up specifically for the Science and Technology Pavilion at the National Eisteddfod in Camarthenshire, 1st-9th August 2014.
Honey Bee as a Drug Discovery Tool: Prof Les Baillie has been working with honey bees and the National Botanic Garden of Wales to identify plant derived drugs which could be used to treat antibiotic resistant hospital pathogens. This project draws from a range of scientific disciplines such as microbiology, chemistry, DNA sequencing, data presentation and ecology and as such represents a story which could be used to engage students in STEM related subjects.
The Darwin Experience - The Darwin Centre for Biology and Medicine was founded in Cardiff by Professor Tony Campbell in 1993, moving to Pembrokeshire in 1999. It has evolved from a Biological and Medicine engagement platform through a weeklong Science Engineering and Technology (SET) Festival, to its current format as year round engagement provider in Science, Technology, Engineering , and Mathematics (STEM) in its broadest sense.
Brain Games: Dr Emma Lane and Dr Emma Kidd (PHRMY) along with Psychology and Biosciences with the Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute and Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) host the annual Brain Games event in the National Museum during National Science and Engineering Week. It is a highly interactive day of activities to give primary school pupils information about how the brain works which forms a set of fun and interactive competitive activities offering the chance to collect points and win prizes.
Monmouth Science Initiative: The School of Pharmacy works in partnership with the Monmouth Science Initiative (MSI) to host groups of interested pupils in several research areas. This initiative is to inspire school children to do science, and bring real life into the classroom. Students have the opportunity to see what life is like as an undergraduate and it exposes them to application of Science to real life problems.
The BeeWorld Project: Promotes the understanding and value of bees in schools. By connecting schools worldwide, the program encourages schools and communities to share their learning experiences of these fascinating creatures and what they are doing to help. The BeeWorld team work with beekeepers, universities and schools to promote responsibility for conservation of nature, biodiversity and sustainability through bees and beekeeping.
Pharmacy School Visits: PHRMY staff and researchers have visited a number of Schools and Colleges around Cardiff giving talks and workshops from 'saving the world', 'Brain Games initiative', 'UAR', 'Being cloned' and Career talks.
Engagment with Charities: Healthy places, healthy people. Aiming for closer connections between the University and local communities.
Techniquest: 'Science of Me' engagement event at Techniquest, an ice cream van was converted into a mini-laboratory.
Public Engagement with Science: Dr Arwyn Jones at various events and festivals actively engages in discussions aspects of science.
Public engagement can provide a variety of benefits to staff and students as well as to the University and the wider public. It can:
• Open up new research directions, and encourage new collaborations within and outside your academic community
• Increase funding success and open up new funding streams
• Build communication and other transferable skills
• Help you see the broader context of your work, provide new perspectives and raise the profile of research
• Attract new students to your discipline and inspire young people
• Be enjoyable and personally rewarding
STEM Ambassador scheme This scheme is nationally recognised and only commits you to an initial CRB check and one school engagement activity (of your choice) per year.
You can find more details of the staff involved here.