Goldsmiths, University of London celebrated public engagement work by staff and students at the Warden’s Annual Public Engagement Awards held on 23 May 2019.
The awards recognise researchers at all career stages doing excellent work with members of the public that may involve sharing ground-breaking findings with new audiences or collaborating with the public throughout their research and practice.
A range of innovative activities and projects from 2018 were nominated by Goldsmiths staff and local people which showed researchers working with organisations such as the BBC, Tate, Google, and the V&A to engage diverse audiences through craft, film, performance, art, and citizen science.
Winners and commendations were picked out by the Public Engagement Advisory Group from three categories: Established Researcher, Early Career Researcher and Postgraduate Researcher.
This year’s award in the Established Researcher category was shared between two exceptional yet very different projects.
Awards were presented to Bill Gaver and Andy Boucher of Goldsmiths’ Interaction Research Studio for their project, My Naturewatch Camera, and to Sue Mayo for Decorum: Manners for Women of the 21st Century.
For My Naturewatch Camera, the Interaction Research Studio teamed up with the BBC’s Natural History Unit to design cameras that people could build at home and use to take a closer look at local wildlife. The project was featured on Springwatch and reached a live audience of around two million viewers and an estimated 2,000 people have built their own cameras to date, documenting wildlife and sharing observations online.
Sue Mayo’s intergenerational arts project explored manners for women, unearthing immovable attitudes while illuminating differences across age, ethnicity and culture. Participants took on the role of co-researchers, making films of their stories that were screened at the Southbank Centre and Tate Exchange.
This year a special award for excellent engagement with an emphasis on our local communities was presented to designer and lecturer, Rose Sinclair.
To mark the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush, Sinclair worked with partners including the British Library, the Black Cultural Archives and the V&A to host workshops and reflective discussions exploring with legacy of the women of the Windrush generation.
In the Early Career Researcher category, Phoenix Perry from the Department of Computing won for her work on Bot Party, a playful game employing capacitive sensing technology to explore and encourage touch between players.
Like the award in the Established Researcher category, this year’s award in the Postgraduate Researcher category was shared between two very different examples of excellent public engagement.
Forensic Psychologists Alessandra Caso and Jo Kenrick won for their 1980s-themed immersive murder mystery event, Top of the Cops: Murder on the Dancefloor, while Pedro Douglass-Kirk was recognised for his performance arts and neurological rehabilitation project, Stroke Odysseys.
Elisabeth Hill, Deputy Warden of Goldsmiths said: “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 benefits our community and beyond.”
Find out more about the work of all nominees on the awards programme: