Thinking about getting involved in public engagement?

Manchester Science FestivalThe following may be useful for those thinking of planning or running public engagement activities or for those looking for ways to evaluate them.

For a Society Member's point of view, Stuart Allan (University of Manchester) explains his experiences of public engagement in this PowerPoint presentation

If you would like to discuss your ideas for public engagement, feel free to contact The Society at

For other, publicly available guidance please see the links below. 


National Co-Ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE)

The NCCPE was established as part of the Beacons for Public Engagement initiative, which was funded by UK Higher Education Funding Councils, Research Councils UK and the Wellcome Trust. THe NCCPE co-ordinates, captures and shares learning between the six Beacons and across UK higher education institutions [HEIs] and research institutes.

The Beacons initiative ended at the end of 2011 and has led to further funded public engagement work.

Their website has many useful guides, resources and toolkits. The following are useful for researchers who are new to public engagement: 

Guide: Easy Ways to Get Started
Resources to support public engagement in science

UCL Public Engagement Unit

Formerly one of the six Beacons, UCL Public Engagement Unit has produced various toolkits on topics relating to public engagement including:

  • Evaluating your public events
  • Organising public events
  • Methods to evaluate your public engagement project
  • Public engagement project planning checklist
  • Guiding principles for effective public engagement

University of Bristol

The NCCPE is part-hosted by the University of Bristol, whose Centre for Public Engagement has a list of organisations who are experienced in designing and developing evaluation programmes on their Resources for evaluation page.

Research Councils UK (RCUK)

RCUK were one of the three funders of the Beacons initiative and have put together this information on how public engagement can be including on funding applications:

Royal Society of Biology

The Royal Society of Biology's science communication project explores and discusses the different areas of science communication within the Society's Member Organisations. A written report and podcast discussing the report is available on their website:

Science Communication Project report

Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)

Public engagement is a core strand of BIS's Science and Society work informed by the 2008 consultation on Science and Society and by the work of the Science for All, Science and Media and Science and Trust expert groups.

BIS have developed this tool to help people explore their reasons for carrying out any public engagement activity.

Science Festivals

This presentation from Beverley Gibbs, University of Nottingham, outlines some considerations to make with regard to science festivals.