P.3 Universities engaging with society: the UK story

Wednesday 03 June 2015 -
10:00 to 17:00
The Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG

Cost: £200

Join us to explore how the UK higher education system is implementing profound changes in how universities connect their research and teaching with wider society. This one day symposium is aimed at university managers and leaders; policy makers and funders; and at engagement specialists and brokers working to develop more effective engagement and knowledge exchange strategies in the higher education sector. It will provide an opportunity to explore the UK story in depth, and for delegates to share their own experiences of the topic. 

Plenary sessions will set the policy and strategic context, with presentations from key architects of the new arrangements: why is societal engagement an increasing priority? How is this being reflected in new approaches to assessment and funding, in the training and development of researchers and in new thinking about responsible innovation and co-production?

Delegates will then be able to explore in depth how these changes are impacting on practice through four parallel streams where leading exponents share their practice and the lessons learned:

• Culture change: how and why universities are building new research cultures that embrace external engagement
• Research engagement and co-production: new approaches to building powerful knowledge with communities outside the university, and to assessing the impact of that work
• Responsible research and innovation: building  ethical and social considerations into the formulation of research and innovation policy
• Student engagement and activism: how are students being supported to develop skills of citizenship, and community leadership, and being prepared for an increasingly complex and changing world beyond the university?

Simon Burall
Director of Dialogue, UK, Sciencewise

Simon is director of dialogue for the UK government’s Sciencewise programme, which was established in 2007 to improve Government policy making involving science and technology by increasing the effectiveness with which public dialogue is used. He is also Director of Involve, a think tank and charity specialising in public participation. Previous roles include: Research Fellow at ODI (2006 – 2009) and Executive Director of the One World Trust (1999 – 2005). Session P.3

Simon Burall

Professor Sarah Churchwell
Professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities, University of East Anglia, UK

Sarah Churchwell’s research and teaching expertise are in 20th-21st century and contemporary American literature and culture; biography and autobiography; American film history; gender theory; cultural studies and popular culture. She is the author of The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe (Granta 2004), and her most recent book, Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby, was published in 2013. Sarah is also a prolific journalist and broadcaster. Session P.3

Professor Sarah Churchwell

Sophie Duncan
Deputy Director, National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement, UK

Sophie is the Deputy Director of the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement, which was set up in 2008 to inspire a culture change in how universities engage the public. She started her career at the Science Museum in London and then became programme manager with Science Year – a government initiative to promote science to teenagers. Following this, Sophie spent 7 years working at the BBC – managing the creation and delivery of national learning campaigns. Session P.3 


Professor Keri Facer
Professor of educational and social futures, University of Bristol, UK

Keri is Professor of Educational and Social Futures at the University of Bristol and AHRC Leadership Fellow for the Connected Communities Programme. Her research focuses on understanding the new institutions, research practices and cognitive tools required to adapt to changing social, environmental and technological conditions. She works with organisations ranging from UNESCO and the BBC, to City Farms and local schools to explore these issues. Session P.3

Professor Keri Face

Professor Simon Gaskell
President and Principal, Queen Mary University, London

Simon Gaskell  joined Queen Mary as Principal in October 2009. He is also Chair of the Board of the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), and has been elected to serve as Treasurer for  Universities UK, the representative organisation for UK universities, from 2012. His research involves the development and application of state-of-the-art mass spectrometry, with particular applications in the biomedical sciences. Session 5.1 Session P.3

Professor Simon Gaskell

Paul Manners
Director, National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement, UK

Paul Manners is Associate Professor in Public Engagement at the University of the West of England and Director of the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement. The NCCPE's role is to help to coordinate public engagement practice and to support innovation and strategic change in the university sector. Session 1.7 Session P.3

Juliet Millican
Deputy Director (Academic) Community University Partnership Programme, University of Brighton, UK

Juliet manages both the student community engagement and the international research and development programmes within Brighton University’s Community University Partnership Programme (Cupp). Juliet has over 20 years teaching experience including 8 years in adult and non-formal education, 8 years in Access to Higher education and 6 years in Higher Education. Session P.3

Juliet Millican

David Sweeney
Director (Research, Education and Knowledge Exchange), Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)

In this role David is responsible for research policy and funding (including the Research Excellence Framework), knowledge exchange and health policy. He is also responsible for the Catalyst Fund, the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund, and HEFCE’s international engagement. David was an adviser to the Australian Research Impact Pilot Exercise, and he has also visited many European countries and Hong Kong to advise on research assessment and funding. Session P.3

David Sweeney

Professor John Womersley
CEO Science and Technologies Facilities Council and RCUK Champion for Public Engagement

A graduate of Cambridge and Oxford (D. Phil. Experimental Particle Physics), John has played a leading role in particle physics both in Europe and the United States. John’s scientific achievements include his time as spokesperson for Fermilab’s D-Zero experiment, when he coordinated analysis and publications, including placing the first experimental particle physics paper in Nature for over 70 years. Session P.3

Professor John Womersley

Professor Richard Owen
Associate Dean of Research and Knowledge Transfer and Chair of Responsible Innovation, University of Exeter, UK

Richard’s research involves understanding concepts of responsibility in the context of innovation as a collective, uncertain and future-oriented activity. He studies how innovation (and science) might be governed and stewarded towards societally desirable and acceptable ends, the challenges, tensions and opportunities this brings, and how responsibilities are perceived and distributed. He has worked closely with the UK Research Councils, being funded by ESRC and EPSRC. Session P.3

Professor Richard Owen

Dr Jack Stilgoe
Lecturer in Social Studies of Science, University College London, UK

Jack Stilgoe has spent his professional life in the overlap between science policy research and science policy practice, first at UCL’s department of Science and Technology Studies, then at the think tank Demos, then the Royal Society and most recently at the University of Exeter. At the Royal Society, he ran the study that produced the influential report The Scientific Century. He has published and presented his academic and policy research to audiences around the world. Session P.3

Dr Jack Stilgoe