Thanks to financial support from the NCCPE’s Public Engagement Ambassador (PEA) programme and the Santander Universities scheme, I was able to attend the 13th Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) conference, held earlier this year in Brazil.
The NCCPE has published my post about the conference here on their website.
Gareth Davies, The Open University
Before I joined the OU, my background was in risk-based decision-making. I looked forward to finding innovative ways of gathering evidence of the impact of public engagement with research (PER). However, it seemed like whenever PER was mentioned evaluation would either become the pink elephant in the room or be quickly forgotten, and the conversation would focus on public engagement as opposed to public engagement with research.
In my experience, this doesn’t arise from ill intent but rather from a lack of understanding about the affordances of different PER activities and the methods and techniques used to evaluate the impact of PER.
This seminar was an opportunity to test a theoretical framework that I believe has the capacity to address this issue.