[University home]

Public Engagement at Manchester


The Public Engagement blog is a forum to share views, thoughts, feedback and generally chat about how the University of Manchester interacts with the public.

BIG’s Sci Comm Social, Thursday, 16 December 2021 7:30-9pm

BIG, the Skills Sharing Network for people in STEM Communication, would like
to invite you to our next BIG Sci Comm Social on Thursday, 16 December 2021.

See: http://www.BIG.uk.com/socials

BIG’s Sci Comm Socials are a (semi-) regular social gathering of people who work in, or are interested in, science communication, outreach or public engagement in STEM. The sessions run more or less when there is a large demand for them and each session is hosted by a different group/person/organisation. These are primarily social in nature, but it’s also a chance to share news, ideas, upcoming events and thoughts on STEM communication.

Sessions are free to attend and you do not need to be a Member of BIG to

The upcoming session will be on Thursday, 16 December; 7:30-9pm. It’s been a while since we’ve had a Social, so we hope you can join us one last time before the end of the year.

To receive the Zoom link and passcode, please visit our website, where you can sign up to our mailing list.

Posted on behalf of Ashley Kent, BIG – STEM Communicators Network – https://www.big.uk.com/

Science Communication Session at EGU 2022

For the 2022 European Geosciences Union (EGU) Annual Assembly (3rd – 8th April 2022) we are hosting a session on science communication and public engagement in the geosciences.

If you are doing any work in this space, then we would love you to share your findings with us. You can submit an abstract to our session (EOS 1.1 – Science to Action) here: https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU22/session/43033

The deadline is the 12th January 2022, and please let me know if you have any questions.

Posted on behalf of Dr Sam Illingworth, Associate Professor in Academic Practice

Submissions open to be part of Cheltenham Science Festival 2022

Cheltenham Science Festival is a 6-day celebration of science, jam-packed with thought-provoking discussions, energetic schools shows, hands-on workshops, mindblowing performances and interactive exhibitions.

The 2022 programme will feature over 100 events for adults and families, over 70 events for schools, and have three large interactive free drop-in zones – The Discover Zone, the Maker Shack and the Cyber Zone. Apply to be part of the programme here.

Submit your interest to be a speaker or be part of an event here.

Deadline 12 November 2021.

Opportunities for researchers – British Science Festival 2022

We’ve got lots of opportunities for researchers to get involved in the British Science Festival 2022 in Leicester.

We welcome proposals from across the UK, from research that encompasses science in the broadest sense of the word. If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything don’t hesitate to get in touch. Please find more information about opportunities available below.

Open Call for proposals – Do you have an idea to engage public audiences with science and research?

The British Science Festival are now accepting event proposals for the 2022 Festival in Leicester, hosted by De Montfort University.

The Festival celebrates science in its broadest sense. They are looking for proposals from individuals, researchers, industry professionals, artists, writers, organisations, charities, academic institutions, and more. Highlights from the 2021 Festival can be found here: https://www.britishscienceassociation.org/blog/british-science-festival-2021-highlights

Festival proposals should be aimed at non-specialist adults (16+) with a broad interest in science. They are looking for events that showcase cutting-edge science, celebrate the latest developments in science and technology and engage their audience in open discussion about relevant issues that affect culture and society. They aim to programme a range of formats from talks to drop-in activities and creative content that challenges perceptions of what science is and can be.

More information, including how to submit a proposal, can be found here: https://www.britishscienceassociation.org/british-science-festival.

The deadline for proposals is 17.00 on 14 February 2022.

Award Lecture nominations – Are you, or do you know, an early career researcher passionate about public engagement?

We are now accepting applications for our 2022 British Science Festival Award Lectureships.

Each year the Award Lectures provide development opportunities for Early Career Researchers who are passionate about engaging the public with their research. Awardees receive a £250 honorarium, public engagement coaching, the chance to present their research at the Festival and more!

We encourage you to read the Award Lecture FAQs and get in touch with Anna at anna.woolman@britishscienceassociation.org

To find out more and apply visit https://www.britishscienceassociation.org/award-lectures.

The deadline is 17.00 on 6 December 2021.

Posted on behalf of Anna Woolman, Engagement Manager, British Science Association

Pint of Science 2022: Call for Volunteers – Manchester team

Are you passionate about science? Public engagement? Pubs?! If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be interested in helping to run Pint of Science festival in Manchester in 2022!

What is Pint of Science?

Pint of Science is an international science festival that happens annually over three evenings in May. During 9-11 May 2022, science researchers will be making their way from the lab to public venues such as cafes and pubs to share their research stories with the public over a nice cold pint of their favourite drink.

In 2019, our fantastic festival here in Manchester saw 1000 attendees and over 50 speakers sharing a pint at over 21 events.

Call for volunteers

The festival doesn’t happen by itself; it needs a team of enthusiastic and inventive volunteers to make it happen. That’s where you might come in… we need volunteers to run the festival in Manchester! Roles require part-time commitment from Nov to May and include event managers, hosts, communications manager, treasurer and web manager.

What’s involved for volunteers?

Pint of Science is a great way to learn team-working, event management and science public engagement. Not only is it a great boost to your CV, it’s also excellent for meeting new people and generally having a laugh – how often do you get to run your own festival in your spare time?

Get involved and help showcase the world-class science that happens at the University of Manchester.

Our events include the following topics: Beautiful Mind (neuroscience, psychology and psychiatry), Atoms to Galaxies (physics, chemistry, maths, astronomy), Our Body (medicine, human biology, health), Planet Earth (geosciences, plant sciences, zoology), Tech Me Out (biotechnology, robotics, computers), Our Society (law, history, politics, policy, languages), Creative Reactions – where science meets art.

Applications of interest – closing 19 November 2022

If you want to get involved please complete this form to register your interest and we will get back to you towards the end of November.

Training for early-career STEM communicators from BIG

The Little Event is a training session for people who are new to STEM communication, whether you work in a science centre or museum, volunteer for a festival, are involved in university outreach, or do anything else to engage people with science, technology, engineering and maths.

The Little Event is crammed with introductory sessions focusing on developing the different skills that are useful in STEM communication; they are delivered by experienced science communicators.

Session 1: Thursday 20 January, 3:00 – 6:30pm and Session 2: Saturday 22 January, 9:00am – 1:15pm

The 2022 Little Event will be online live and spread over two days. The days are designed to work together and are booked as a package (i.e. not sold separately). They are LIVE events, so bear in mind the times given are GMT (London). The 2022 programme includes sessions on Evaluation, Managing Projects, Presenting, Science Capital, and Careers and will include plenty of networking time as well as short comfort breaks.

BIG members: cost £50

Non-members: cost is £85 and includes BIG Membership for 1 year

Read more about the Little Event: https://www.big.uk.com/Little2022

Book the Little Event here: https://www.big.uk.com/event-4547381

Can’t afford to attend the Little Event? BIG offers a few bursaries to
attend which will cover your fees as well as some expenses. Applications
open 1st December. See https://www.big.uk.com/event-4547523 to apply or
https://www.big.uk.com/bursary for more information.

50,000 Actions for a more sustainable world

The University’s environmental sustainability engagement programme has been extended to the whole of our student body and is now the biggest environmental sustainability initiative in the higher education sector.

In November 2016, the University’s environmental sustainability engagement programme for staff – 10,000 Actions – was launched. In its first phase (November 2016- March 2018), 46% of staff logged into the website, committing to 26,242 actions and completing 3,541 actions. Since then, the Environmental Sustainability team has been working hard to relaunch 10,000 Actions as 50,000 Actions. The new platform has been extended to the whole of our student body and is now the biggest environmental sustainability initiative in the higher education sector!

As a member of the University community you have power to help make real change and take action to build a more sustainable world; whether that be on a global level, as a local team, or as individuals.

We’re asking all our staff and students to take practical action in everyday life to help build towards a more sustainable way of living and our 50,000 Actions platform can help you do that.

50,000 Actions will give you ideas and inspiration in what you can do to live more sustainably, there’s a wealth of information available. It can begin by committing to one or two sustainable actions, encouraging others (staff and students) to take action, and keeping it up by tracking your progress as you continue to make sustainable choices.

The impact of every action you take contributes to our collective goal. By making sustainable choices in your everyday life, you can help reduce carbon impact, fight against climate change, look after the environment and make a real difference.

What’s good for the planet can also be good for you. Taking action could help you live a healthier lifestyle, save you money, connect you with others and develop new skills that you can take with you into the future.

How it works:

Our new 50,000 Actions portal is easier to use and has a wider range of actions. You can take a look through to get ideas and inspiration then commit to the ones you care about, record the actions you’ve completed and see how you’re contributing, both individually and collectively, in tackling one of the world’s biggest challenges.

There are more than 150 different actions you can complete, from volunteering in your local community to reducing single-use plastics in your home and everything in between. Each and every action, no matter how big or small, helps make a difference and contribute to building a better and more sustainable society.

  1. Choose an action: Browse actions and commit to ones that works for you
  2. Track your progress: Record and track progress as you complete real-life actions
  3. Keep it up: When you’re ready, try another and continue making a positive impact

Are you ready to take action?

Visit the new 50,000 Actions portal

Share the 50,000 Actions platform with fellow colleagues and students

ESRC Festival of Social Science 2021 – returning from 1 November

We are delighted to announce that between the 1 – 30 November, the annual ESRC Festival of Social Science returns to Manchester for its eighth year, with events taking place both virtually and in person.

Alongside poetry workshops, performance art and urban gardening, this year the programme offers a unique insight into the role that the social sciences can play in addressing the climate crisis, as the UK hosts COP26 in Glasgow.

Join us this November to explore the world of social science, from how our behaviour can help fight climate change to the effects of the pandemic on society. Take a look at our range of free events, for all ages and tastes.

For more information and registration details, take a look at the Festival website.

Posted on behalf of Sophie Theis, Engagement and External Relations, School of Social Sciences, The University of Manchester

Standing up for Science workshop – 1 December 2021

Applications are now open for our next Standing up for Science workshop taking place on 1 December at Wellcome Collection, London.

The aim of the free workshop is to encourage early career researchers (ECRs) to make their voices heard in public debates about science. Join us to find out how to contribute research findings to public discussions and engage effectively with journalists and policymakers.

The session will be made up of three panels, a researcher panel, media panel and a policy panel, where ECRs can learn what is expected of them from other researchers, journalists and policymakers, routes and pathways to engage with media or policy worlds, as well as useful tips and tricks from the panellists and each other.

Find our more on our Sense About Science webpage and complete the online application form.

The application deadline is 17:00, Monday 1 November.

Posted on behalf of Joshua Gascoyne, Policy Officer, Sense about Science