We believe that engaging society with research is an integral part of what it means to be an academic. It generates mutual benefits for both the public and researchers, enriches the academic experience, and enhances the quality, reach and impact of research.
Reuben College focuses on areas of research that explore challenging issues, pose thought-provoking questions, and hold potential for bringing a wide range of benefits to society in the future. This is why at Reuben we promote a unique flavour of public engagement: interdisciplinary public engagement that involves both basic and translational scientists, life sciences and the humanities, social sciences and the public, creating a new vision of how our research can address 21st century challenges.
While many of our fellows already run a range of engagement projects, two Official Fellows in Public Engagement with Research (PER) – Janet Stott (Deputy Director and Head of Public Engagement at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History) and Catarina Vicente (Science Strategy and Projects Manager at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology) – provide the expertise and leadership that ensures all our students, whether in taught or research-based courses, have the opportunity to receive training in public engagement, and run or participate in their own initiatives if they wish so. We also benefit from our strong links with the University’s Gardens, Libraries and Museums (GLAM), which are facilitated both by our excellent location, and our Official Fellow for GLAM Liaison, Catriona Cannon (Deputy Librarian of the Bodleian Libraries).
It is our hope that when students eventually leave us, they are equipped with the skills and experience that will allow them to become engaged professionals, whether in academia or in the broad range of other careers paths available to our graduates.
Projects under development include:
- Training and funding to support students to develop their own public engagement projects, in collaboration with colleagues from other subjects
- Mentorship programmes for students and research fellows interested in developing their skills in this area
- A public engagement club, where fellows and students can present their own projects and discuss ideas, alongside the opportunity to listen from and talk to invited public engagement experts from across the world
- Explore the public engagement potential of the new Digital Innovation Studio through pilot projects