Congratulations to Hugo Drochon and Yvonne Salmon for their respective nominations for the Vice-Chancellor’s Public Engagement with Research Awards. The winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on 13 July 2017.
Hugo Drochon is a postdoctoral research fellow on the Leverhulme-funded project Conspiracy and Democracy: History, Political Theory and Internet Research at CRASSH. He is a historian of late nineteenth and twentieth political thought, with interests in continental political thought, democratic theory, liberalism and political realism. His book Nietzsche’s Great Politics came out with Princeton University Press in 2016. You can read a review of it in The New Statesman. Hugo's current research is on elite theories of democracy – Mosca, Pareto, Michels and Ostrogorski – and the impact their thinking had on the development of democratic theory in America and Europe after WWII, notably on figures such as Schumpeter, Dahl, Wright Mills, Aron, Manin, Rosanvallon and Bobbio.
Yvonne Salmon lectures at the University of Cambridge where she directs the interdisciplinary law and humanities Alchemical Landscape research group at CRASSH. She has active research interests in law, culture and behavioural economics. A study on the law and literature of the sixties is forthcoming in an anthology to be published by Bloomsbury Continuum. She is also a writer and artist and a co-authored book on her expanded cinema work is forthcoming.
The Vice-Chancellor’s Public Engagement with Research Awards were established in 2016 to recognise and reward those who undertake excellent public engagement with research. Awards are initially judged by School, with one prize of £1,000 being awarded to the best impact in each School. The overall best impact award is awarded to the best of these School winners, and given an additional £1,000 prize. A list of the winners for the inaugural awards can be found here.
The awards are currently supported by the University’s RCUK Catalyst Seed Fund. For the purpose of the award, the University of Cambridge has adapted the National Coordinating Centre’s definition of public engagement to explicitly focus on public engagement with research.
Public engagement with research describes the myriad of ways in which the activity and benefits of research can be shared with members of the public. Public engagement with research is by definition a process of exchange, involving interaction and listening, with the goal of generating mutual benefit, changes and/or effects.
The key principles of public engagement with research are that it:
- Must be underpinned by contemporary research
- Must involve elements of genuine interaction, e.g. through dialogue, participation, collaboration, co-production, etc.
- Must engage people and/or organisations from beyond academia
A wide variety of projects and approaches are eligible for this award, if they meet the above key principles and demonstrate excellence. These include, but are not exclusive to:
- Live events e.g. festivals, discussions, talks, workshops, science cafes.
- Collaborative projects e.g. with publics/organisations as partners in research.
- Public involvement e.g. patient and public, citizen science.
- Media e.g. social media, discussions via blogs, broadcasting-led activities.
- Exhibitions and installations e.g. museums and galleries.
- Education programmes that connect pupils, teachers and/or education providers directly with research.
Applications will be reviewed by a judging panel including external experts in public engagement with research. The panel’s assessment of applications is considered to be final; however, applicants will be offered feedback on their applications.
The University is looking to recognise achievements at every career stage, and activities will be judged accordingly. The panel is looking for:
- A strong relationship between the high-quality engagement and research.
- A clearly justified set of relevant partners and/or publics.
- Evidence of the benefits, changes and/or effects of the engagement to the research, researcher and/or publics.
- The reach and significance of the activity undertaken.
- Timeliness of engagement in the research cycle.
- Demonstration of a reflective / evaluative approach by the researcher, noting how learning from the activity has been shared more widely.