Outreach & Public Engagement

Outreach and Public Engagement are all the opportunities to share your research with the general public. See what opportunities are out there and how we can help you design your outreach/public engagement activity.

Public Engagement has developed enormously over recent years. In the past, it was solely about outreach and the one-way communication of topics to a ‘general public’. It is now an incredibly diverse collection of approaches. It still includes the vital activity of disseminating information, but it now also comprises opportunities for different communities and stakeholders to contribute directly to the research process.

Public engagement describes the myriad of ways in which the University's activities and research can be shared with the public. Engagement is by definition a two-way process, involving interaction and listening, with the goal of generating mutual benefit.

Some public engagement activities may be beneficial for the conduct of a research, for instance, to help recruiting study participants (e.g. user groups).

Some public engagement activities are useful to your research project: they enhance or add value to it by providing direct benefits to the research or to you as researchers. Examples of these activities are:

  • Participation in festivals
  • Work with museums, galleries or cultural venues
  • Collaboration with artists to stimulate interest, excitement and debate about the research or gain new perspectives
  • involvement of the public in the research (e.g. citizen science experiments).

Some ‘big picture’ public engagement activities help fostering a society in which research can flourish. This could include workshops with schools and the professional development of teachers to inspire the next generation of researchers, as well as the collaboration with producers of factual, comedy and drama programmes and films or games, to ensure research is part of a broader cultural conversation.

If you wish to learn more about PE, or discuss your ideas, please email infcomms@ed.ac.uk

The Informatics Communications Team collates information about the Informatics staff's outreach and public engagement activities. Please tell us what you do by filling in our web form.

Web Form (Outreach & public engagement)