Four students from SEAHA have won the Dr Katharine Giles science blog award at the 2019 Association of British Science Writers’ (ABSW) awards ceremony, held at London’s Science Museum last week, for the their work as part of UCL Culture’s Researchers in Museums team.
Alexandra Bridarolli, Cerys Jones, Mark Kearney and Anna Pokorska all work as part of an interdisciplinary team of 15 postgraduate researchers from across departments at University College London. The researchers work within the three UCL Museums (Grant Museum of Zoology, Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology and UCL Art Museum) where they engage with the public about their PhD research and the museum’s collection. As part of this work, and to reach as many people as they can, the researchers also run a blog where they further explore the collection and its intersections with their own topics.
The blog takes many forms, with each student taking their own unique style to tell stories to the general public. The ABSW judges remarked on this style calling it “A fresh, fun and innovative approach from [an] academic team”. Over the past year SEAHA students have written about The Mystery of Iridescence in Glass (Anna Pokorska), 7 reasons Bes should be your favourite Egyptian god (Cerys Jones), The practice of consanguineous marriages in our modern societies (Alexandra Bridarolli) and When Plastics Saved Turtles (Mark Kearney).
The engager team was in very good company with Cancer Research UK and the British Psychological Society Research Digest also being finalists for the award. This is the first time that students have won the award.
The Engager program was established in 2012 to broaden public engagement with UCL research and collections, and to stimulate the students ideas around their own research topic. The blog has also established in 2012, with 2018 seeing over 90 thousand page views from 182 different countries.
Header image: Dorrie Giles presents Student Engagers Mark Kearney (SEAHA Student), Josie Mills, and team coordinator Arendse Lund the Dr Katharine Giles science blog award on behalf of the team at the ABSW ceremony (Credit: Trevor Aston Photography)