Past projects in the Science Communication Unit
Since 1997, we have worked on a diverse portfolio of projects with a long list of partners and funders. If you cannot find the project you are looking for, please contact us.
Our projects are organised under five themes, though they may bridge more than one category. View them below:
Science, technology and engineering
Exploring and facilitating relationships between natural science, technology, engineering and society.
An EU-funded outdoor robotics competition, in which teams from around the world were invited to test the intelligence and autonomy of their robots in realistic, demanding mock emergency-response scenarios.
An engagement project which brought together creative, artistic and engineering skills to develop a semi-autonomous robot puppet.
The 'Robotic Visions' project aimed to provide a unique platform for two-way discussion and debate between young people and robotics researchers.
An interactive dialogue event, designed to stimulate the audience to think about and discuss advances in robotics.
A Royal Academy of Engineering project where engineers collaborated with zoologists to showcase how humans have learned from the ingenuity of nature.
To create a buzz around Astronomy and Earth Sciences leading up to the 200-year anniversary celebrations in 2020, the Royal Astronomical Society is funding various tranches of outreach and engagement activities all over the UK. We are carrying out the evaluation of these activities as part of a team led by Jenesys Associates.
Robotics encompassed a broad range of academic disciplines including engineering, biology, neuroscience, psychology and artificial intelligence.
Health and wellbeing
Examining the ways that communication plays a role in health and wellbeing.
A dialogue event designed to stimulate debate into the personal, social and ethical issues of advances in medical genetics.
Evaluation of the Food for Life programme; a trans-national advocacy coalition on food, public health and sustainability in school and youth settings.
Evaluation of the Food Growing Schools London programme which sought to develop food growing in schools across London as a means of reconnecting communities with food, health and the environment.
A Wellcome-funded public engagement project, working with UK artists and Bristol-based community organisations to creatively engage city citizens on issues around healthy urban development. SCU drives the project, drawing on the expertise of UWE Bristol health and urban planning academics, economists from the University of Bath, public health specialists, and an urban sustainability consultancy, bringing together art, economics and health science into the same space, using a range of creative consultation methods to engage a wide range of city users, both digital and face-to-face. Play the Shape Our City game.
A team drawn from different disciplines – public health, urban design, economics and science communication – are developing an economic valuation model and engaging with the private sector to deliver healthy planning principles in the Wellcome Trust project 'Moving health and sustainability upstream into strategic urban development decision-making'.
Sustainability and the environment
Studying and enabling communication in areas related to sustainability and the environment.
Our objective is to understand and manipulate the in-situ biogeochemistry of waste within waste repositories (eg landfills, industrial waste, municipal solid waste, metallurgical and mining waste) to recover valuable resources by leaching and other treatments whilst the material lies in situ, thus avoiding the need to actively extract the material and thereby minimise ecological and environmental impacts.
This project sought to inspire young people to explore the scientific underpinning of climate change, as well as the societal issues that shape their landscape, and the ways that partnerships between different stakeholder groups can help to meet and support social needs.
Social science and art
Investigating public engagement in the social sciences and arts.
Careful is exploring the potential of drama to help student nurses explore and reflect on their roles as carers.
A small study of the ESRC Festival of Social Science from 2006 to 2011 which reviewed the successes and the benefits over time, as well as developing learning points for future events.
A British Academy Small Research grant funded this project which was carried out within the Science Communication Unit.
The SCOOP project sought to support the efforts of the research community in the social sciences to reach policy makers.
Informal and formal learning
Research and practical projects that link science communication and education
Connected Communities is a cross-council Research Programme led by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
This evaluation assessed the impact and influence of a pilot training course in education outreach.
Commissioned by the Wellcome Trust, the Science Communication Unit carried out research in 2013 to identify evidence on informal learning in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).
This in-depth public engagement research project involved a thorough investigation of best practice in science communication within generic venues.
A project investigating UWE Bristol’s role in festival engagement, to understand how the activities that take place within a festival setting can generate ‘social capital’.
The Science Communication Unit conducted an evaluation of a strand of activities sponsored by the Wellcome Trust at the 2014 Latitude Festival.
Laura Fogg-Rogers’ DPhil aims to explore preferences for, and cultures of, science communication at live science events.
In 2009, the Science Communication Unit undertook research producing a public engagement map.
A comic strip written by Emma Weitkamp to engage key stage 2 primary school children with science.
The Festival of Nature, British Science Week and Bristol Food Connections are just some of the popular science events that engage hundreds of thousands of members of the UK population each year. This evaluation looks at why audiences attend and how festivals can evaluate their impact.
This landscape study researched the similarities and differences between the huge varieties of live science events.
This research focused on the data contained within the UK-wide STEM Directories to identify gaps and overlaps in provision.