Science in Schools
Schools' Science Day
Sixth Form Conferences
Researcher in Residence
Bioscience Boot Camp
Royal Society Exhibition
Public Engagement Training
Institute scientists, staff and PhD students are encouraged and supported in actively engaging with the public to discuss their research, the scientific discoveries they make and the implications these advances have for human health. The Babraham Institute aims to engage a variety of public audiences in dialogue about its science, to create a better understanding and appreciation of the Institute's research, its potential applications and implications, and an opportunity for the concerns of society to be heard and discussed with experts. We also seek to understand better the societal context for our work and to actively and constructively engage with those who have concerns about either the ethical issues or technological implications surrounding our work.
The Institute, through the activities of the External Relations office, aims to facilitate and constructive communication and promote effective networking with the bioscience community and our diverse stakeholders. Developing communication skills that are tailored to a non-scientific audience is therefore essential to fulfil these aims better enabling the scientific community to listen and respond to the needs and concerns of our various public audiences and operate effectively with the media.
Since 2001 we have ensured that all senior scientists participate in ’Public Events & Communication Training’. We also encourage our younger research scientists and PhD students to undergo science communication and Public Events & Communication Training, to bring awareness of the constraints under which the media operate and to develop communication approaches that are tailored to engaging the non-technical audience.
Several PhD students have been selected for the University of Cambridge’s Rising Stars programme - a course in public engagement and educational outreach for undergraduates, postgraduates, postdocs and early career academics. Many of our PhD students and scientists are STEM Ambassadors and receive training from STEM Team Cambridgeshire.
Institute scientists have been invited to speak at national and international public lectures including: the Gresham College Lectures; the National Institutes of Health, Washington in a symposium on the 'Science of Attraction' in 2003; Science & Society Panel, FEBS 2006, Istanbul; and a conference at the University of Debrecen, Hungary, to mark the 50th anniversary of DNA, sponsored by the British Council.
Professor Kendrick has delivered some of the Gresham Lectures for a local mixed audience of non-scientific Institute staff (an important internal ‘public’ audience), schools, community groups and the Royal Overseas League. These have proved immensely popular. Keith Kendrick's group has also contributed to public exhibitions and shows including the Cheltenham Science Festival, the Royal Show, the BA festival and the Cambridge Science Festival in 2006. His group's work was also used in a Science Museum exhibition funded by the Wellcome Trust - “Future Face” - which ran from October 2004 to February 2005.
Dr Claire Cockcroft
Head, External Relations
Contact by email
Babraham Institute - Babraham Research Campus - Cambridge - United Kingdom