Public Engagement

Great Exhibition Road Festival 2019

 

At the CDT, students are encouraged to take part in public engagement projects. Public engagement allows mutual learning between the public and the academic community. It enables students to use their scientific knowledge and skills to inspire and educate new audiences and allows their research to be informed and strengthened by the insights of communities with lived experience.
 
 Public Engagement initiatives that CDT students have taken part in include:
  • ArtxScience.co.uk – Collaborating with post-graduate students from the Royal College of Art to create digital exhibits to open up the conversation around medical imaging research.
  • ECHO Happiness Hub – Co-presenting alongside creative facilitators in online workshops to engage children with heart conditions and their families with our research.
  • Coding for Girls – Inspiring the next generation of female coders through interactive workshops
  • Sci-Fi Theatre – Collaborating with theatre makers to create a sci-fi play exploring the true potential of artificial intelligence within an imaginary setting.
  • Great Exhibition Road Festival – Sharing scientific knowledge and passion with thousands of visitors at a large science festival.
  • STEM for Britain – Showcasing research to UK MPs through a poster competition at the Houses of Parliament.
  • Pint of Science – Taking science to the local pub to give the public an insight into the latest research developments across the field.
  • I’m a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here! – Participating in a reality-TV style competition, where school students are the judges
Lindsay Munroe at the ECHO Happiness Hub Children with heart conditions visit the Science Gallery London to hear about our cardiac surgery-related research
CDT student Lindsay Munroe co-presenting an ECHO Happiness Hub workshop Children with heart conditions visit the Science Gallery London to hear about our cardiac surgery-related research
CDT staff and students explain the use of radioactivity to diagnose and treat cancer at the Royal Society Summer Exhibition 2018 CDT students host a series of Coding for Girls workshops for local Girlguiding groups
CDT staff and students explain the use of radioactivity to diagnose and treat cancer at the Royal Society Summer Exhibition 2018 CDT students host a series of Coding for Girls workshops for local Girlguiding groups

Public Engagement Ambassadors

Formed in early 2019, the Public Engagement Ambassadors (PEAs) are a group of CDT students and alumni with an enthusiasm for public engagement. The PEAs endeavor to further embed public engagement into the CDT’s research culture and practice. Their responsibilities include planning and delivering engagement projects, encouraging the involvement of fellow students, and providing advice and insights to the CDT’s public engagement officer. If you are a CDT student who would like to become a PEA or a member of the public interested in their work, please contact Bella Spencer.

Meet our ambassadors

Aidan MichaelsAidan Michaels, 2nd Year CDT student

In my PhD, I seek to investigate the cause of the Warburg Effect, the phenomenon describing how cancer cells use different metabolic pathways to healthy cells. My interests are largely in cancer biology, however, I have a broad interest in medical science. To try and get a bit more science into everyone’s lives I’ve started a podcast, RadioNuclear, where I and other CDT students talk about science and engineering topics in accessible ways. When I’m not in the lab I’m playing or watching sport; I’m a pretty broken and therefore retired rugby player, so now I stay “en garde“, fencing for King’s.  

Aishwarya Mishra, Finishing CDT studentAishwarya Mishra

My PhD is aimed at the delivery and tracking of nanomedicines in the body using new radiotracers, imaging and focused ultrasound. Being involved in public engagement during my time at King’s College London has given me a better understanding of my research field. I enjoy interacting with the public, especially kids and explaining basic concepts of radioactivity, cancer and chemistry. I am a keen advocate of use of STEM engagement to counter myths and false information in present times. Outside work, I enjoy watching a fair bit of cinema and theatre. Also, I am a big fan of museums and exhibitions. 

Elsa-Marie Otoo, Finishing CDT studentElsa-Marie Otoo

My PhD research focuses on the visualisation 3d imaging and its use in education, diagnosis and surgery in medicine. I like teaching in general, so really enjoy interacting with the public, explaining interesting topics such as my work and being a BAME representative to inspire others. In my free time I like writing poetry, reading manga and manhuas.

 

Faysal FarahFaysal Farah, 3rd Year CDT student

My PhD focuses on developing nanoparticles that can combine two different imaging techniques to help with cancer diagnosis and management. Public engagement allows me to have meaningful conversations with the general public about my research (and science in general), and it is one of the ways in which I can encourage students from BAME backgrounds to get involved in STEM. When not in the lab, I would often take part in football matches or binge watch the latest documentary on Netflix.

Ines CostaInes Costa, 4th Year CDT student

My PhD aims to determine the potential of different types of radiation for therapy and understand their safety when they are used for imaging patients. Being involved in public engagement has given me the opportunity to decrease the stigma attached to radioactivity! Recently, I created an Instagram account @radiation_hotstuff to show that radiation is everywhere and it can be used for imaging and to treat diseases, like cancer. Outside my PhD, I like doing exercise, travelling, designing my Instagram posts and watching too much Netflix.

Jonny JacksonJonny Jackson, Finishing CDT student

The aim of my PhD is to construct a patient-specific model of the arteries in the heart in real-time using 2D images captured during surgery. Spending time talking to a young wannabe astronaut, or a science fair-fanatical retiree, is a great reminder ojust how much science can influence and inspire people. Though I occasionally get to talk about the use of neural networks in heart imaging that forms my research, during my public engagement projects I’ve mainly  focused on the bigger picture around AI ethics, scientific pursuit and education. Outside my PhD, I’m that friend who’s always doing too many side projects.

Jyoti MangalJyoti Mangal, 2nd year CDT student

Having studied classroom physics most of my university life, I’m currently gaining hands-on knowledge and experience in medical imaging for my PhD. My research work focuses on developing new ways to image the human brain at high resolution using MRI. My main interest in public engagement lies in helping the public, patients and knowledge seekers understand the nitty-gritties that goes behind neuroimaging. Far (way far) outside my field, I like being in the mountains for the fun hikes, pretty stars and non-sulfurous air.

Virginia FernandezVirginia Fernandez, 2nd year CDT student

My PhD is about generating an atlas of the diseased human brain using Deep Learning. For years, I have been obsessed with drawing cartoons about  science; at the beginning it was a way to explain scientific concepts to myself in a simple and funny way, but then I discovered the value of making them for and with the public. For me, being involved in public engagement is like bringing a pair of lungs to my research: it is a way to exchange, show what we are working at and bring in some fresh air to our projects. During my “”free”” time, I do a bunch of different things, from hiking in nature to participating in podcasts about cinema, but my favourite activity is – of course – drawing. I could do that all day.

Madeleine IafrateMadeleine Iafrate, Alumna (Student 2016-2021) 

The goal of my PhD research is to be able to track the location of human cells within a person’s body using a combination of genetic engineering, radiopharmaceutical development, and medical physics. I love talking to as many people as I can about science and the environment, and I have been known to speak at public engagement events, coordinate them (e.g. Pint of Science 2019), and even host a podcast about all things PhD. Outside of my research, I am actively trying to find ways of reducing the environmental impact of scientific research waste and I won a Churchill Fellowship to continue my work in this area

Peter GawnePeter Gawne, Alumnus (Student 2015-2019)

During my PhD, I designed new methods to potentially validate new drugs with medical imaging scanners using radioactivity. Throughout my project, I have taken part in various public engagement activities including organising and designing science festival stands, writing lay articles and the hosting of public events. I believe public engagement is an essential part of science, which benefits both the public and researchers. When I’m not in the lab, you will probably find me reading books, putting off doing exercise and watching too much TV.

Samuel VenninSam Vennin, Alumnus (Aligned student 2014-2018)

My PhD focused on investigating the relationship between blood flow and pressure to derive new clinical technologies and gain insights on the physiological mechanisms causing hypertension. My biggest achievement is… not having fainted once in my whole PhD even though I can’t stand blood!  I have participated in various types of engagement activities during my time at King’s, from planning science festival stands to writing lay summary articles and organising workshops in schools. Beyond my research, you can find me outside running everywhere or inside reading anything.