Sense About Science have published a practical guide to public engagement, focusing on involving the public in working out how to communicate research findings.
It draws on their experience of working with researchers on socially or scientifically difficult issues of public interest; particularly the Understanding Children’s Heart Surgery Outcomes project.
The public engagement team worked with researchers funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to develop new ways of presenting information.
They used a five-step process to discuss and present research information in a way that is shaped from the outset by people who will use it:
- Scoping – Look at what people are saying and the underlying assumptions
- Involving people – Work out the significance for different groups and how to involve them
- Planning – Propose content and formats that are relevant for the people accessing it
- User testing – Develop your material together
- Dissemination – Continue to engage people and use feedback
You can access the guide on the Sense About Science website: http://senseaboutscience.org/activities/public-engagement-guide/