Science in Schools
Schools' Science Day
Sixth Form Conferences
Researcher in Residence
Bioscience Boot Camp
Royal Society Exhibition
Public Engagement Training
The Babraham Institute has taken a pivotal role regionally, delivering a variety of public engagement activities to bring science closer to society. Our programme enables people to gain insights into the exciting world of life sciences research and understand how discoveries are translated into innovations that will improve quality of life, global health and well-being and benefit society.
Committed to dialogue with society, our communication strategy aims to reach a wide range of public audiences, including schools, home-educated groups, families, community groups, politicians and the media. We provide a forum for discussion between our researchers and these stakeholders to discuss our research and communicate the significance of our discoveries to human health and wellbeing. Our scientists are studying the biological mechanisms underpinning ageing, development and the maintenance of health and how the failure or abnormality of cellular processes can lead to disease. Breakthroughs have increased understanding of medical conditions like hypertension, cardiac arrhythmia and heart failure, cancer and autoimmune disorders. We also aim to engage with those who have concerns about either the ethical issues or technological implications surrounding our work.
Our ‘Science in Schools’ programme is designed to enthuse young people about science and to provide insight into science-based careers. Since 2005 we have increased the number and depth of our interactions with schools; we now contribute to the science curriculum for all ages and abilities, from pre-school to 6th form, pupils with learning difficulties and home-schoolers, and 2007 seeing the launch of Babraham’s pioneering one-week Bioscience Boot Camp for 6th formers. We take science into schools – assisting in classrooms, providing talks, equipment and practical expertise – and also host pupils at the Institute to gain ‘hands-on’ laboratory experience and interact with inspiring scientific mentors, in line with RCUK’s schools’ policy ‘Vision and Aims’ and Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research. Through our activities and role model scientists, we aim to transfer enthusiasm for science to the next generation, to stimulate interest in the relevance of science to every day life and inspire the scientists of tomorrow.
Institute scientists, staff and PhD students are encouraged to participate in outreach events, discussing their research, its potential applications and relevance to society. Each year about 90 scientists, staff and students get involved, around 40 of whom are STEM Ambassadors, a scheme coordinated nationally by STEMNET and locally by STEMTEAM-Cambridgeshire to inspire children and young people in STEM subjects. We also work closely with STEMTEAM Cambridgeshire to arrange Nuffield 6th Form research placements – many of these students enter their research projects for CREST Awards. In 2009 we worked with the British Science Association and STEM TEAM Cambridgeshire to accredit our Schools’ Day as for a Bronze CREST Award and Boot Camp projects for silver awards.
We also organise events designed to bring the scientific community closer to new public audiences and community groups, providing new opportunities for exchange of ideas between the various constituents of society. As an independent bioscience research organisation we can provide information and advice on a wide range of scientific topics from our expert scientists. The Babraham Institute looks forward to exploring new ways of partnering with its local and regional communities to build stronger and more productive links between science and society.
Further information is available from
Dr Claire Cockcroft
Head, External Relations
Contact by email
Exchange & Engagement Team
Contact by email
Babraham Institute - Babraham Research Campus - Cambridge - United Kingdom