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Issue 127 Spring 2018

Endocrinologist > Spring 2018 > Society News


The scientist and the spoonful of sugar… funded by a Society Public Engagement Grant

Caroline Gorvin | Society News



Public engagement is becoming a vital part of everyday life for a scientist. People are genuinely interested in what goes on in research laboratories, want to know how taking part in clinical trials can be beneficial, and are curious about what research funding actually pays for. Additionally, our funders increasingly require evidence of participation in public engagement events.

Katherine Owen. ©Kate Lines and Marco Pontecorvi

Katherine Owen. ©Kate Lines and Marco Pontecorvi

The Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (OCDEM) has been actively involved in public engagement at small, local events for the last few years. These events have given us the opportunity to test out ideas and have convinced us that involvement in such activities is beneficial and enjoyable.

Consequently, we decided that we needed something more visually captivating to attract more attention. With this in mind, we applied for and were awarded a Society for Endocrinology Public Engagement Grant to fund the purchase of a new gazebo – complete with departmental logos and departmental research images. This ensured our stall was clearly visible at events in 2017, and that it will remain prominent at many future events. In addition to the gazebo, we were able to purchase hands-on anatomy models and craft items to help us educate event attendees about endocrine organs and function.

Nathan Denton. ©Kate Lines and Marco Pontecorvi

Nathan Denton. ©Kate Lines and Marco Pontecorvi

OCDEM attended several public events over the summer of 2017, including the Oxfordshire Science Festival, the Headington Festival and the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition. At these events, we focused on educating the public about nutrition, lifestyle choices and the causes of diabetes. Using the gazebo and materials funded by the grant we were able to run a variety of games and activities designed to help the public understand these endocrine concepts in a fun and engaging way.

Feedback from the public has been overwhelmingly positive, and convinced us that continued participation in such events is important, not only for educating visitors about our work, but also in helping us to gain new perspectives that enhance our future research. The award of this Society for Endocrinology Public Engagement Grant has ensured that this will be a possibility for years to come.

Amanda Bennett. ©Kate Lines and Marco Pontecorvi

Amanda Bennett. ©Kate Lines and Marco Pontecorvi

Caroline Gorvin, University of Oxford

Do you have a great idea for an outreach project? Find out how you can apply for a Society Public Engagement Grant here.

Next deadline: 28 March 2018




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