Sharing Our Science

Tuesday 27th June 2017, 10:00am

The Easter Bush Campus has been involved in various public engagement and outreach activities this year.

Dr Nicola Stock, Public Engagement Officer at The Roslin Institute, gives us a round up the public engagement and outreach activities which staff and students have been involved in from the beginning of the year with more events to follow.

photo of young people taking part in an activity session about rabies research hosted by Easter Bush Campus at the Royal Highland Show

Ahead of the opening of the Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre (EBSOC), located on the ground floor of Roslin Innovation Centre in the autumn, the outreach team carried out a series of teacher consultation sessions in January and February to determine the types of activities local high schools would like to see at the new facility.  

There was a demand for pupils to get hands-on, research lab experiences and the opportunity to meet real scientists. The first set of workshops will be tested and developed over the summer.

A Continuing Professional Developement (CPD) day for Higher Human Biology teachers was held in February, featuring researchers from across the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and showcasing The Roslin Institute's facilities. Going forward, future sessions will be held in EBSOC.

Researchers have been busy visiting schools to share their experiences of working in science and several took part in Careers Hive, an event for high school pupils and their families at the National Museum of Scotland. Visits also took place from Biology and Chemistry students from local high schools, who got the chance to see behind the scenes in the research labs at The Roslin Institute.

Alice Roberts, clinical anatomist, author, broadcaster and Professor of Public Engagement with Science at the University of Birmingham, visited the Institute in February. In addition to giving a thought provoking seminar about why academics should consider engaging with the public, she also joined a smaller group of research staff and students for a lively discussion about public engagement in practice.

In April, as in previous years, Roslin researchers took part in the Edinburgh International Science Festival, contributing content and volunteers for the successful Moments in Time exhibition on the Mound in Edinburgh and taking our Needle Felting with Dolly the Sheep workshop to the Mini Maker Faire at Summerhall, Edinburgh.  

In May, the outreach team headed to the Borders with their Cute Egg activities to the Border Union Agricultural Society Children's Countryside Day in Kelso, where they engaged several hundred primary school children and their teachers with fun, interactive activities about their research on the cuticle of hen's eggs.

The first half of the year was rounded off with an interactive and insightful science communication training session led by David Price from Science Made Simple. The researchers were challenged to perform demonstrations and give presentations, all the while focusing on not just the scientific content (keeping it simple and jargon free) but also their audience and themselves as presenters.

The most recent event was in June when staff and students attended the annual Royal Highland Show.