Science outreach project hailed success

Aidan Kerr
Writer

A team of University of Glasgow researchers have completed a successful science outreach project, which brought science to over 6,500 Glaswegians in some of the city’s most deprived neighbourhoods.

The Scottish Government’s “Talking Science” grant of £25,000 enabled the University’s Community Led Ambassadors Network (CLAN) to deliver free workshops and other events in Castlemilk, Drumchapel, Easterhouse, Govan, Maryhill and Possilpark.

Dr Deborah McNeill, head of the Public Engagement Group in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) at the University said: “This project has enabled researchers to share their knowledge and passion for science with hard-to-reach audiences and to build mutually beneficial relationships with local groups and people. We would like to extend our thanks to everyone involved in CLAN for making this project a great success.”

However scientists were not alone in their endeavours. For example, in Possilpark researchers collaborated with local arts groups such as Depot Arts. This multi-disciplinary approach engaged many with science who normally would not be involved with the subject.

One such art and science collaboration, “A Shed Load of Science”, was hailed a success. The project involved a two-week programme of art-science events across north Glasgow. Barry Neeson, artist and project coordinator commented: “This is the first time we have ever delivered a project like this. Pairing up two very different schools of thought – art and science – allowed us to engage people in activities that make science less daunting and a part of everyday life. The reaction from the public has been overwhelming and I feel fantastic that I was able to be a part of it.”

Researchers hope the engagement with science will spark a lifelong appreciation and learning for the subject in the participants.