Senior Lead for Engaged Research and Public Engagement
What do I do?
My role is to support members of the Centre, and people in groups and organisations outside the Centre, to plan, carry out, collaborate in and evaluate engaged research.
I work with people in multiple ways: through the many research projects the Centre is developing and supporting, and through working with people who have received one of the awards the Centre offers to build engaged research.
I’ve had a ‘portmanteau’ career that’s taken me everywhere from school science teaching, to voluntary work, to being a company director, to freelance editing and a lot in between.
I started my working life as a science teacher in secondary schools in Derbyshire and Devon. While teaching, I took my undergraduate degree with the Open University. After leaving that career, I spent several years in a mix of writing educational and games software, technical authoring, co-director of a small company and voluntary work. In 2009, I went back to university to research for a PhD in open science and public engagement. Since then, I have worked as a researcher and lecturer in the University of the West of England, Bristol, the Open University and the University of Western Australia.
I’ve been a volunteer in the international Café Scientifique movement since 2003. Since 2010, I’ve been the closest thing the network has to a leader; I advise, support and mentor café organisers around the world and maintain the network’s website.
I’m proud that I took a deep breath and risked going back to university to study for a PhD as a (very) mature student, and that I started a new and rewarding career in research and teaching when most of my contemporaries are retiring!
Something about me you can’t Google
I helped build a robot that is now in the permanent collection of the Science Museum, London.