PCST committee members participate in NUCLEUS project conference

17 October 2018

Heather Doran, Alex Gerber and others took part in the ‘New Understanding of Communication, Learning and Engagement in Universities and Scientific institutions’ meeting in Malta.

The New Understanding of Communication, Learning and Engagement in Universities and Scientific institutions (NUCLEUS) project conference took place on the 11 and 12 October with a theme of ‘Living RRI: opening research to the needs and values of society’.

The conference shared updates from the 4 year long Horizon 2020 project which aims to generate a series of tried and tested methods for embedding Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) into 10 research institutions. They have 10 live ‘test bed’ NUCLEI around Europe, China and South Africa. These research institutions shared how they were tackling the challenging of embedding RRI as a main focus of the conference.

There was also a series of interesting keynote presentations. The keynotes were led by; Giulia Bubbolini from the Center for Innovation and Sustainable Economy in Italy; Paul Manners, director of the National Centre for Coordination of Public Engagement in the UK; and Maria Acaso, a leading figure in disruptive education and the use of art in learning. Her work provided many parallels to how science communicators have used disruptive thinking and art-science interactions to help build bridges and catalyse new discussion.

The conference involved a mix of led talks and interactive sessions. These were then used to inform how they might approach influencing wider policy to embed the principals of RRI. In addition, representatives from many other RRI focused projects attended and shared their work. They have generated a fantastic amount of resources for generating and evaluating partnerships between community groups and higher education establishment and all of their work is freely available.

The conference was held in Valletta and hosted at the University of Malta, who also shared their focus and importance on Responsible Research and Innovation. Dr Marie Briguglio led a panel discussion opening up conversations around the challenges of marrying ethics and engagement and evaluating social impacts of cultural participation.

You can read more at: http://www.ul.ie/engage/