Enhancing engagement with biotechnology through interactions with the scientific community, school students, teachers and the general public

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Research Communication in Action

Research Communication in Action (RCiA) was a transferable skills course developed and delivered by SIBE which enabled PhD students and early-career post-doctoral researchers in the University of Edinburgh to develop their public communication skills. The course combined generic communication skills training with subject-specific training and collaboration with public engagement activities taking place in the University. A novel aspect was that it combined communication training with real practical experience.

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Think Darwin, Think Evolution, Think Now

This substantial booklet was produced to celebrate the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin in 2009. Designed for Scottish Higher and Advanced Higher students of biology, copies have been sent to every Secondary School in Scotland. The booklet can be downloaded here:




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Sharing Science

Sharing Science linked researchers from Universities and Research Centres, with Science Centre Staff, in the task of engaging the public with science. It sought ways of translating developments in the research environment into the Science Centre/public engagement field. Researchers showcased their research in public events at the Science Centres.

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Biomedical Horizons

Launched in 2006, Biomedical Horizons aimed to raise awareness and spark discussion about the range and diversity of biomedical science careers and their role in society by engaging the public in exploration and discussion with practitioners. The project was funded by the Wellcome Trust and hosted by the University of Edinburgh. The project partners were Prof. Mary Bownes (SIBE), Dr Elizabeth Stevenson (School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh), Dr Jan Barfoot (SIBE) and Dr Briony Curtis (now, SIBE).

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Bioethical Video Conferencing

Interactive video conferences which involved secondary school pupils studying for their Advanced Higher Biology. Many of the pupils who took part came from some of the more remote Scottish schools, which gave them the opportunity to discuss issues with University of Edinburgh scientists and students. Developed in 2004 and run up to 2006.

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Signing Biotechnology

Developed in 2004, this project offered subject specific support for those communicating biotechnology to deaf people. The CD-ROM is still available - contact us for a copy.

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Scrambled Eggs

A BBSRC funded project which aimed to encourage engagement with issues surrounding development and stem cells. A card game was produced in 2003 which can be used for different age groups either as an activity itself, linking eggs to the environments where they develop, or as a starter activity leading to further discussions about stem cells. Contact us for a free set.

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Superbugs: a Challenge for 21st Century Scientists?

In collaboration with University of Edinburgh School of Chemistry, SIBE was a partner on a 2009-10 Wellcome Trust People Award funding this project. The project aimed to explore with school pupils and the public, what the issues are, how medics and scientists are dealing with them, and what can be done by everyone via good hygiene. An extensive schools workshops programme took place in addition to some science festival and public dialogue events. 


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