How to Engage the Public with your Research

ivorytower_4Academics have long been accused of intellectual isolation – locked away in Ivory Towers, unable to find a ‘lingua franca’ with the layman. However, teaching and dissemination are fundamental roles of researchers.

Engaging with the public has numerous benefits to the researcher, their university and the public. Engaging with a wider audience promotes open, public discourse on your topic, it can create a swell of interest in your subject area, regardless of how complex your research may seem (the physicist Brain Cox is the best example). Public engagement can also give you a platform to inform the public about issues that relate to their everyday life (see Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science and Bad Pharma) and thus help countless people. Lastly, if nothing else, remember that funding bodies are increasingly interested in how well researchers can involve and engage the public.

Since entering the world of academia around a year ago, I have attempted to engage with the public as much as possible. Below are my suggested avenues, most of which I have done or am currently doing.

Public talks

A direct, tangible and interactive way to engage with public. Initially I was held back by the inaccurate belief that no platform existed for me to speak. Below are the best ways for almost anyone to deliver a public talk:

fame-lab skeptics






Teaching school kids

scientist ASE photo





Social Media

My engagement with the public has been thoroughly rewarding and enjoyable. Ultimately, I consider it an academic’s job to disseminate research findings and inform.

About CEBM

CEBM Centre Manager
Responsible for maintaining the Centre’s ability to respond to new initiatives and update methods of interaction and dissemination. Elevating the position of all EBM and EBHC learning related activities globally.

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