At Manchester, we’re on a mission to enthuse and inspire others about the work we do here – and you can be part of it.
They call it “public engagement”, but that’s a rather dull-sounding phrase for something which is far more fun – sharing your interest and excitement for your subject with – well frankly, anyone who’ll listen. Whatever your subject, there are loads of opportunities to get involved.
Why do it?
- Because it’s fun
- Because it can also be scary – and learning to overcome your fears, and developing new talents is surely what being at university is all about?
- Because it’s a chance to talk to people outside your course/lab/School – in fact, outside the university all together. Particularly if you’re new to Manchester, find out what life is like beyond the university precinct.
- Because it’s great practice for talking to potential employers, especially for that inevitable question, “so, why are you studying corrosion control engineering/medieval studies/developmental biology?”
- Because, if you want to be an academic, your funders will expect you to do it – so you’d better start practising now.
How do you start?
One of the best resources, gathering all sorts of public engagement opportunities together in one place, is the Public and Community Engagement website for the University of Manchester. Their blog highlights dozens of opportunities to get involved in activities for all sorts of subjects. A lot of the organised events are science based, but in the last month, there have also been calls for events around International Womens Day and the Manchester Histories Festival.
You can also ask in your School – are there any opportunities to get involved in Open Days, or other local school activities?
Or you can just do it yourself
I’m not sure how many of you are ready to tackle this – an a capella discussion of string theory set to the tune of Bohemian Rhapsody, but it’s one of the most extraordinary (and brilliant) examples of science communication I’ve ever come across. However, I’m not sure how much you’ll learn about string theory if you’re not already familiar with it – a case of (admittedly fabulous) style over substance? On the other hand, if his aim was to promote himself and his Masters research thesis, then it’s spot on.
See what you think:
Careers Manager (Postgraduate) at the University of Manchester, UK