The importance of sharing knowledge
As you saw in the previous Step, a paper will undergo a rigorous quality assurance process before it is published. Yet this is just the start! In most cases, the researchers will want to share their findings as widely, and as accurately, as possible.
Public engagement is important for universities (such as the University of Reading and Technical University of Munich) and organisations which promote public health information (such as EUFIC and EIT-Food). We engage with audiences in a variety of ways, using our research to change and transform society at the local, national and global levels. Engagement is a learning process for everyone involved and can include public events and festivals, innovative social media engagement, citizen science, participatory action research, consultation and creating free online courses such as this one!
Many researchers are also encouraged to publish their articles as ‘open access’ meaning that they don’t appear behind a paywall and members of the public can read them directly.
Researchers also write news articles for reputable websites such The Conversation (take a look at this article ‘Fuller for longer? How appetite research is used - and misused’ written by course Educator Dr Miriam Clegg). Or you can follow many of these organisations, or even the scientists, directly on social media (check the ‘see also’ links below).
We’d love to hear your ideas for how researchers can engage with the public in the future. Please share your suggestions in the comments area below.
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