1 University of Manchester, UK
DiscussionPublic engagement describes the many ways in which our research and knowledge is shared with the public. Importantly engagement is a two-way, interactive process of listening to others - regardless of whether we aim to inspire, consult, or collaborate with the public - our overall purpose is to generate mutual benefit. For researchers there are many benefits of public engagement including: expanding our awareness through debating and discussing our work; reflecting on our approach to research and developing new avenues and opportunities; acquiring alternative sources of funding; improving our communication skills; and reinvigorating our enthusiasm for our research. But with the competing pressures for our time, how can we do quality public engagement and can our engagement contribute to the "impact" agenda? Along with my research group, I have spent more than 10 years developing public engagement tools and resources for work around parasitology and immunology. For example, we created a mobile resource called the Worm Wagon to explore our research into parasitic worm infections with community groups and have we used a variety of approaches including sci-art, participative workshops, and citizen science. In this talk I will share the successes and challenges of my public engagement work and provide some top tips for developing effective and impactful public engagement with research.