Considering how to communicate your research or engage others with the latest science, social science or humanities research? This book explores new and emerging approaches to engaging people with research, placing these in the wider context of research communication. Split into three sections, Creative Research Communication explores the historical routes and current drivers for public engagement, before moving on to explore practical approaches and finally discussing ethical issues and the ways in which research communication can contribute to research impact. Starting from the premise that researchers can and ought to participate in the public sphere, this book provides practical guidance and advice on contributing to political discourse and policymaking, as well as engaging the public where they are (whether that is at the theatre, at a music festival or on social media). By considering the plurality of publics and their diverse needs and interests, it is quite possible to find a communications niche that neither offers up bite-sized chunks of research, nor conceptualises the public as lacking the capacity to consider the myriad of issues raised by research, but explains and considers thoughtfully the value of research endeavours and their potential benefits to society. It’s time for researchers to move away from one-size fits all, and embrace opportunities for creative approaches to research communication. This book argues for a move away from metrics and tick box approaches and towards approaches that work for you, as an individual researcher, in the context of your own discipline and interests.
external evaluator contracted by the funder. Regardless of the approach taken, applying a systematic approach to the evaluation, and keeping in mind the importance of ‘objectivity’, ‘neutrality’ and ‘open-mindedness’, can assist in creating a professional evaluation design (Hoggarth and Comfort, 2010 : 82; DePoy and Gilson, 2008 ). It can be difficult if you have a stake in that which you are evaluating. Saville Kushner ( 2000 : 108–9) puts this well in the context of the many evaluations he has carried out on programmes associated with music:
I’m not crazy
notions of art are in flux: ‘Today you can call virtually anything “art” and get away with it’ (Shiner, 2001 : 3). Definitions of the arts may, therefore, seem vague and arbitrary in nature. Lewis suggests that ‘art could then be defined as a cultural practice that involves the creation of specific and definable object – a play, video or piece of music for example. The function of the object is as a self-conscious, personal, or collective expression of something’ (Lewis, 1990 : 5). This suggests that, to an extent, art is defined by who makes it and their intentions
authored by the favelas’ residents. Organisations are thinking about novel ways to reach people at such cultural gatherings, for instance the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência in Portugal has a long-standing partnership with the Optimus Alive Oeiras music and art festival, permitting its researchers to set up demo activities, art installations and researcher speed-dating activities alongside sold-out music concerts by the likes of international artists such as Coldplay (Leão and Castro, 2012 ).
Festivals often take place over a few days or a weekend, and ‘subject
platform for speakers, so may provide a suitable venue for a public lecture, provided it is practical in nature (speakers are typically makers, but there is no reason why a researcher could not also submit a proposal). Local hackspaces may also offer such opportunities, such as the Kiberpipa in Ljubljana, Slovenia, which focuses on open source computing, or the Dublin Music Hackspace, which provides a space for musicians to collaborate on DIY projects.
Equally, these open source communities can be places for the creation of collaborative projects that provide an
Zooniverse projects that mobilise interested citizens to process data (and at the same time learn about the subject area). On a more individual level, there are many examples of creative approaches to communication, including blogs and websites run by individuals or research groups, outreach projects aimed at school children and research taken to unusual venues, such as music festivals. What makes these projects creative is the way that they combine elements of research communication in novel or unexpected ways and/or introduce new and unexpected aspects (such as creating
’ using web-based platforms. At first glance, digital storytelling may seem quite similar to other video projects. What makes it different is a focus on the individual. Digital stories are told by individuals, expressing their personal narrative. Stories may be told using still or moving images, though purists may argue against the use of moving images, which are combined with audio (spoken or music) and textual elements. Emphasis is usually placed on the personal and emotional quality of the film, rather than on the production qualities. ‘The personal narrative, told
culture play a very small role in the lives of this younger, cash-strapped group living in suburban and semi-urban areas of high unemployment. They are the least likely to think themselves as arty, while less than a third believe that the arts is important. Nevertheless, they do go out as families: cinema, live music, eating out and pantomime. (The Audience Agency, 2014 : np)
Whilst the above description doesn’t intend to be derogatory or condescending, reflect on how you might feel if you met the criteria for a group that are ‘cash-strapped’, living in an area