Why should I engage the public?
There are lots of reasons to get involved with public engagement – to gain new ideas, improve the relevance and quality of our work, develop new skills and not least because it can be a lot of fun!
For the College, it’s a crucial way to increase our capacity to do great research and have a positive impact on society.
But if you’re still wondering why public engagement is so important, we’ve listed the benefits below.
Benefits to you
Have an impact on society
Change perspectives and behaviours by speaking to real people who are affected by or interested in your research.
Gain insights on research
Members of the public can contribute to your research with specialist knowledge and first-hand experience, ensuring
your work is relevant and responsive to society.
Fun and feel-good
Sharing your work and passion has an undeniable feel-good factor – and engagement activities are a lot of fun too!
Develop transferable skills
Develop skills which can enhance your career, including in communication and event organisation.
Raise your profile
Public engagement can increase awareness of your work, introduce you to new partners and collaborators, and expand your influence.
Get more funding
Funding bodies and policymakers often ask for evidence of impact on society and public engagement is a great way to show this.
Benefits to society
Playing a role in research
Members of the public benefit through feeling part of the journey of discovery alongside researchers and feeling engaged with work that is often out of reach despite being resourced through public funds.
Knowledge and understanding
Those working outside of scientific areas can learn about new discoveries.
Skills and opportunities
Taking part in engagement can lead to developing new skills and experiences, some of which can help open up future opportunities in work and study.
Entertainment and inspiration
Taking part in public engagement can and should be fun, creative and enjoyable!
Trust and connections
Engagement can help to build relationships and rapport between communities and researchers, particularly with those working and living locally to research centres.
Engagement can empower the public, giving them influence over important processes and decisions that affect them.
Benefits to research
Enhanced and impactful research
Research is more relevant to the needs and wants of society, is better informed by a broader range of perspectives and applications can be implemented more effectively.
Increased uptake of talented minds into research
Engagement can encourage a broader range of young people into STEM careers meaning research fields benefit from diverse ideas and talented students.
Positive and critical conversations
Trust between science and society means research can be discussed and debated in constructive ways building an interested, confident and empowered society and enabling research to be conducted in a transparent and accountable way.