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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.

Rosalind Franklin’s 100th birthday

We have appointed an artist to respond to the printed copy of the Human Genome, one of only three copies, which is held in The University of Manchester NHS FT library on Oxford Road. Our artist in residence, Andee Collard, has made images to celebrate Rosalind Franklin’s 100th birthday: https://dna-day.org/images/

That page also has a little outline by the artist about what he is doing: The human genome as recorded in the Unversity’s printed volumes is sequenced fully but not yet completely interpreted. The work that I’m making confronts the anachronisms inherent with this subject. I’m interested in working with visual metaphors related to this vast research area. Everything about DNA is fascinating and my perceptions shift constantly. The micro macro of the topic has encouraged me to work across media, exploring new areas of work and methods of working. I am making oil paintings from documentary photographs, digital/analogue hybrid animations and using generative code. I see DNA as a maze filled a series of metaphors where understanding leads to more questions. I’m relishing the task of exploring the different paths.

The images and link are tweeted, here: https://twitter.com/DNADay1/status/1286584305037312000

Posted on behalf of Professor Jerome de Groot, English, American Studies and Creative Writing, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, The University of Manchester

Bluedot to host free virtual festival with live music, science and cosmic culture this weekend

A Weekend In Outer Space includes sets from Orbital, Elbow and Anna Matronic’s Deep Space Disco as well as album listening parties with Tim Burgess (including Doves and New Order).

A Weekend In Outer Space will be raising money for Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, the award-winning science centre at the observatory, which has been closed in recent months.

A Weekend In Outer Space will take place on Friday 24th – Sunday 26th July 2020 at aweekendinouterspace.com. It is free to view.

Being Human festival: open call deadline extended to 3 July 2020

The chance to apply for funding may have passed but there is still time to get involved with Being Human festival 2020 (12-22 November)! Being Human is the UK’s only national festival of the humanities, led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy.

Through our Open Call we are currently welcoming applications for events and activities that do not require funding from us (e.g. made possible through existing funds or a grant from your institution). To enable as many people as possible to take part we have just extended the deadline for Open Call applications to Friday 3 July.

Participating in the festival is a fantastic way to reach new audiences, form new partnerships and collaborations, champion the importance of research in humanities subjects (including history, languages, classics, art history, literature, philosophy, cultural studies and so on…), and be part of a nationwide celebration exploring this year’s timely festival theme ‘New Worlds’.

Find out more here: https://beinghumanfestival.org/open-call/

We know that thinking about and planning future events is very challenging at the moment, so we have also just shared a piece on our website with some ideas and practical tips about how to think through planning online and socially-distanced engagement events and activities: https://beinghumanfestival.org/festival-planning-covid19/

Posted on behalf of Rose de Lara, Communications Officer, Being Human team


Makefest at home

May half term is always the Science and Industry Museum’s big celebration of making, engineering, crafting and creating, culminating with our festival of making, Makefest.

Although the museum is currently closed and Makefest cannot go ahead as normal, we still want to engage our audiences and encourage as many people as possible to get creative at home.

So this year we are bringing Makefest to our social media channels using #Makefestathome and we would love you to get involved. From 25-29 May, we will be sharing photos and videos of things we have made at home and challenging everyone to do the same.

Each day will have a new themed challenge, inspired by Science Museum group learning resources. You can find out more here.

We’d love it if you could join in, make something and share photos and videos of what you’ve made with us on Twitter (@sim_manchester), Instagram (@scienceandindustrymuseum) or on our Facebook event (scienceandindustrymuseum) using the hashtag.

Posted on behalf of Georgina Wells, Contemporary Science Programme Coordinator, Science and Industry Museum

I’m a Scientist, Stay at Home

UK Research and Innovation is excited to be funding I’m a Scientist, Stay at Home! which is running throughout the summer term until 20 July.

The I‘m a Scientist, Stay at Home! project is enabling school pupils to engage with active researchers and staff to provide inspiring STEM lessons for pupils as they are taught at home during the school closures. Pupils engage in online text chats where they can ask scientists questions and find out about their work. Pupils then vote for their favourite researcher at the end. UKRI funding is enabling I’m a Scientist to expand its online platform to reach over 1,200 schools and 140,000 pupils over the summer term.

We’re looking for UKRI-funded researchers and staff to take part. It’s a great way for you to hone your communication skills and inspire the next generation about research. If you would like to find out more and sign up to take part, please visit https://imascientist.org.uk/stayathome/scientist-signup/ukri/.

Daily Definition Challenge #lockdownquiz

Engage with our #lockdownquiz to identify #wordsforhealth!

The Manchester Academy for Healthcare Science (MAHSE) Patient Forum has launched a #wordsforhealth initiative to identify which healthcare related words the general public find confusing.

We all need to be able to produce scientific or healthcare-related literature that is understood by the public in order to communicate with patients, for educational purposes and as part of funding proposals. This is particularly relevant in our current situation when we are all being bomarded with healthcare related information. Engaging society both in active research and in the development of research and clinical priorities is an essential goal, but do we use accessible language in these situations?

The MAHSE Patient Forum has launched a campaign to help scientists and healthcare professionals identify some of the words the general public find confusing. The Daily Definition Challenge is running under #wordsforhealth on twitter and facebook until 1st June; each challenge should take less than 5 minutes to complete. All responses are anonymous. Please support our campaign by sharing it with your friends, family and patient groups, to reach as many members of the general public as possible.

Further information, including how we will use the results, can be found in our first Daily Definition Challenge here. Follow us on twitter @MAHSE1 and facebook @bmhuom #wordsforhealth #lockdownquiz.

Any questions, contact: lindsey.brown@manchester.ac.uk or joanne.pennock@manchester.ac.uk