The eight UK Research Councils today publish their joint Science in Society strategy. The strategy document and accompanying highlights booklet outline both the Research Councils achievements of embedding science in society within their activities, and their plans for the future.
Professor Ian Diamond, Chair of Research Councils UK, said: "The Research Councils invest large amounts of public money in research that affects everyone’s lives. By working together to actively engage with the public, who ultimately pay for the research we fund, we aim to raise awareness of science and innovation and find out what matters to them. The Research Councils have been at the forefront of science in society activities for many years and we plan to build on these achievements in the future."
The science in society strategy consists of four strands, which provide a framework for the Research Councils to work together: finding out what people think; reaching young people and teachers; encouraging researchers to engage with the public and keeping people informed and up-to-date. The highlights booklet also details particularly successful projects and profiles some of the individuals who are the public face of research in the UK. The new faces of UK research include people such as 27 year-old Tim Gabriel. Tim is a lecturer in chemistry at the University of Huddersfield and a member of a team that aims to enthuse 14-18 years in science and engineering.
Tim commented: "I can make young people sit up by putting what they learn at school in a different, fun way, and showing them how to enjoy the real chemistry which is often buried beneath the stereotypes of Bunsen burners and white coats."
Professor Diamond added, "This strategy highlights the importance of the Research Councils UK Science in Society Unit which, by providing a gateway to the science in society activities and managing cross-council programmes is underpinning the individual work within each Council."
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Matt Goode, Research Councils UK
Tel: 01793 413299
Notes to Editors
The RCUK Science in Society Unit was established on 1 April 2005 and is headed by Dr Kerry Leslie.
About Research Councils UK
The eight Research Councils are independent non-departmental public bodies, funded by the Science Budget through the Office of Science and Technology. They are incorporated by Royal Charter and together manage a research budget of over £2.5 billion a year.
Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the partnership between the UK's eight Research Councils. Through RCUK, the Research Councils work together to champion the research, training and innovation they support. The Research Councils are independent non-departmental public bodies, funded by the Science Budget through the Office of Science and Technology.
RCUK was created to increase the collective visibility, leadership and policy influence of the Research Councils; to stimulate multi-disciplinary research that encourages collaboration; to provide a single focus for collective dialogue with stakeholders and to encourage greater harmonisation of internal operations.
The partnership is led by the RCUK Executive Group, which meets monthly and comprises the chief executives of the eight Research Councils. The Group is currently chaired by Professor Ian Diamond, Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council.
The eight UK Research Councils are:
- Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC);
- Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC);
- Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC);
- Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC);
- Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC);
- Medical Research Council (MRC);
- Natural Environment Research Council (NERC);
- Particle Physics & Astronomy Research Council (PPARC).