Goldsmiths hosts inaugural celebration of public engagement projects

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Pop-up playgrounds, a British-Iraqi poetry partnership, and an app that monitors your mood and brain power, are among the Goldsmiths, University of London projects recognised this week in our first Warden’s Annual Public Engagement Awards.

Jenny Lewis won the Postgraduate Researcher Award for Writing Mesopotamia

The awards have been established to recognise and celebrate the incredible work our researchers do with members of the public, whether it’s sharing ground-breaking research findings with new audiences, or collaborating with the public throughout their research.

Submissions were split into three categories: Established Researcher, Early Career Researcher, and Postgraduate Researcher. A list of winners and highly commended projects can be found below.

Patrick Loughrey, Warden of Goldsmiths, says: “An exceptional range of innovative activities and projects were nominated by academic staff and partner organisations alike, showcasing different approaches to engaging the public with research and practice.

“Our researchers worked with organisations like the Whitechapel Gallery, the Wellcome Trust, Sky and Nesta to engage diverse audiences through music, poetry, art and even smartphone apps.

“There was a real sense that researchers, partners and the public benefited from this work, demonstrating how research in the arts, humanities, social sciences and computing can create real positive change in the world.

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the nominees, whose work with the public is a real asset to Goldsmiths and an example to our community, and beyond.”

Established Researcher

Winner: Dr Sophie von Stumm (Psychology) and the Hungry Mind Lab for moo-Q: an iphone app that monitors your mood and cognitive function.

Commendation: Dr Mick Grierson (Computing) and EAVI for Soundlab: a pioneering project to help people with learning disabilities express themselves musically using new technology.

Commendation: Professor Lauren Stewart (Psychology) for Hooked on Music Silent Disco at the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester: an experiment to test whether some songs are more likely to get stuck in our head than others.

Early Career Researcher

Winner: Dr Dominique Santos (Anthropology) for Pop Up + Play, Hummingbird Play Association in Johannesburg: temporary adventure playgrounds in public places, with a campaign to raise awareness of the need for free, risk-free, play spaces.

Commendation: Dr Esther Sayers (Educational Studies) for ArtScapers: engaging children and their families in Cambridge to respond to a high-profile new housing development in the city.

Postgraduate Researcher

Winner: Jenny Lewis (English and Comparative Literature) for Writing Mesopotamia: a collaboration between British poet Jenny and Iraqi poet Adnan al-Sayegh that led to a huge range of new creative work and activities for the public.

Commendation: John Woolf (History) for BBC documentaries ‘The Real Tomb Thumb’ and ‘Queen Victoria’s Letters’: the former a spin-off from John’s PhD which he pitched for production. It was picked up by the BBC.

Commendation: Dawn Rose (Psychology) for The Happiness Project: a sold-out theatre production at The Roundhouse, bringing scientists and school kids together to explore the art and science of what makes us happy.

Download the Public Engagement Awards brochure, with full details of winning and nominated projects

Find out more about public engagement at Goldsmiths