The Marine Biological Association is leading a sector-changing public engagement project.
Selected by NERC, the MBA has been chosen, as part of a new ‘BLUEPRINT' consortium, to build capacity in public engagement with environmental research across the UK.
NERC has awarded a total of £500,000 to six projects to equip the environmental research sector to deliver effective, national-scale public engagement with contemporary issues of environmental science.
As one of the six successful bids, BLUEPRINT consists of nine institutions and organisations who will consolidate their learning, expertise and training into a 'blueprint' for how to build consortia, build capacity, and how to create innovative activities in public engagement.
By combining scientists, facilitators, creatives and skilled media communicators, the aim is to equip researchers with the capacity and skills to engage people in a nation-wide conversation on the future of our seas.
BLUEPRINT brings together eight major UK-leading marine research, engagement, advocacy and environmental arts organisations: the Marine Biological Association; King's College London; Joint Nature Conservation Committee; Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science; University of Plymouth Marine Institute; University of Edinburgh; Scottish Association for Marine Science; Incredible Oceans; and Invisible Dust.
MBA Deputy Director Jon Parr said, “The MBA has a vibrant outreach and training programme reaching community groups, schools and citizen science. We are excited about the Blueprint project which will bring together leaders in communication and science to creat a roadmap for engagement for our community”.
These projects have been funded through NERC’s Engaging Environments programme which follows a pilot funding call that was held late 2016.The programme aims to build a long-term, effective and innovative public engagement community. Full details are available on Grants on the Web.
NERC’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Alison Robinson, said:
“‘Engaging Environments’ is a huge step towards achieving NERC’s ambitious, long-term goals for public engagement with environmental research. We are delighted to be funding such a range of innovative programmes and look forward to seeing these build bigger, better and more meaningful engagement in the enormous range of environmental topics that affect our daily lives.”
Starting in October 2017, these Stage 1 projects will last 12 months and will be invited to bid in Stage 2 to lead one longer-term project. This will deliver a much larger scale of public engagement than NERC has supported previously, achieving demonstrable impact across the UK and national recognition
Further information can be obtained from:
Jon Parr MBA Deputy Director and Education Team Leader
Hannah King NERC Public engagement officer
Sylvie Kruiniger NERC external communications officer