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Programme information


10.00               Tea/coffee on arrival

10.30-10.45     Prof Christina Boswell (Vice Principal for Research and Enterprise): Open the Gathering and welcome on behalf of the University of Edinburgh

10.45-10.55      Faye Watson: Welcome on behalf of ScotPEN and outline plan for the day

10.55-11.15       Katie Oldfield: Research Data Scotland approach to Public Engagement

Data is often locked away in lots of individual systems, across many different organisations. Research Data Scotland works with researchers, analysts and policymakers to unlock the potential of public sector data for the benefit of public good. This session will cover how we are embedding public engagement as a vital part of the research we enable, including our public panel and the funding of projects across Scotland.  

11.15-11.45        Rhiannon Bull & colleagues: Binks Hub - Creatively co-researching with communities for social good

The Binks Hub is a new research hub at the University of Edinburgh, working with communities to think, create, and research together. Using art, crafts, and other creative activities, we’re investigating how to tackle the issues that matter most to people, driving real-world, positive change. In today’s session, we’ll talk through how we’re co-researching with communities at a local level through a collage project in Craigentinny, Edinburgh, up to a national level on a new research programme creatively tackling health inequalities across North Lanarkshire, Clackmannanshire, and the Highlands.

11.45-12.15        Meet the new ScotPEN Committee

12.15-1.15          Lunch

1.15-2.45         Sam Langford and Dagmar der Weduwen: Tabletop Role Playing Games for Engagement

In this session, science communicators and avid gamers, Sam and Dagmar will take you on an adventure as they showcase how you can use role playing games to tell an engaging story about your work. You'll have the chance to guide characters on a quest in a unique game that we make up on the spot, and consider how your own work could fit into this style of engagement for taking to your desired audiences. 


The session will be split into two parts, as the group plays a game together, before moving into a quickfire prototyping activity that allows the attendees to get creative and come up with their own ideas.

2.45-3.00        Tea/coffee break

3.00-3.30        Sarah Jane Judge and Dee Davison: Innovative evaluation

Evaluation is rarely anyone’s favourite task when delivering engagement projects, so could innovative approaches make evaluation more enjoyable – both for practitioners and audiences? In this session, we will focus on how we are using drawing as a tool - with people living with health conditions and with primary school pupils and you’ll be encouraged to get creative - scoring or drawing. 


Sarah-Jane Judge, Public Engagement Manager, Wellcome Centre for Cell Biology, will describe how she converted drawings into quantitative evaluation data and how you might create a drawing scoring system for your own projects. Dee Davison, Public Engagement Manager, Institute of Genetics and Cancer, will describe how she is use drawing to build relationships between researchers and people living with health conditions (PPI) as a tool to develop mutual understanding of different perspectives.  

3.30-4.00        Lewis Hou: Centring communities in engagement with research

How can we centre communities in research engagement in our practice? And how do we build a wider system which supports this more equitably and builds knowledge democracy? 

In this talk, Lewis, will share experiences and reflections from his work directing Science Ceilidh, an independent intermediary organisation. He'll be drawing from learnings from long-term community programmes such as New Scots Connect as well as from participatory grant schemes such as The Ideas Fund and the Highlands & Islands Climate Change Community Grants providing funding directly to over 30 communities to lead partnerships with researchers which is now also feeding into a new programme of infrastructure work to help reimagine and shape policy to centre communities further. 

4.00                 Faye Watson and Jenny Bos: Closing remarks

4:30-7:30        Networking Opportunity at The Beehive Inn

Are there any barriers to your attendance? We have a budget supported by Research Data Scotland to support those who might need financial support to attend. Please contact as soon as possible to discuss how we can help.

Please also send any information about dietary or accessibility requirements to by Monday 1st May 2023.

Huge thank you to Research Data Scotland who are contributing to the funding of this years event!

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