Research

The Rainbow, written by Ada Lovelace, and found in the British Library's archives.


My current research involves using different media (such as a poetry and games) to engender meaningful dialogue between 'experts' and 'non-experts'. There are three main projects that I am working on:

  1. A number of famous scientists (e.g. Ada Lovelace, Humphry Davy, James Clerk Maxwell) wrote poetry. Why did they do this and how did it influence their scientific accomplishments?
  2. How can poetry be used to develop two-way dialogues between experts and non-experts?
  3. How can tabletop games be used to discuss science in a meaningful fashion?

A list of my publications can be found here. I also wrote a book about Effective Science Communication, which presents a practical guide to surviving as a scientist.

 

Teaching

Working with Art and Science undergraduate students as part of the Spectrum Project


I am the programme leader for Manchester Metropolitan's MSc in Science Communication, which includes a unit in SciArt that is co-taught to MA students from the Manchester School of Art.

I have a MA in Higher Education, and am also a senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). My dissertation looked at how poetry can be used to improve student engagement, a copy of which can be read here

Here's a video of me talking about why I favour the facilitator-led to the expert-led approach. 

And here are some blog posts relating to my teaching practices. 

Practice

Participants add neurons (wool) to a giant wooden brain, as part of The Brain Box event.


Over the past three years I have directly engaged with over 15,000 members of the general public, developing and delivering a variety of different activities ranging from school assemblies and classroom visits to science fairs and poetry performances

Here's some rather pretty photos from some of these activities, some of which even made it into BuzzFeed.

I helped to set up the science policy unit at Manchester Metropolitan: MetroPolis.

I have also been an invited panellist, lecturer, and after-dinner speaker for, amongst others: the Royal Meteorological Society, the British Science Association, the British Council, the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement, and the Science and Technology Facilities Council.