1.3 Activity: What is public engagement with research?

Consider the following examples and, referring to the definitions given earlier in this section of the course, make a note of whether you think each is an example of public engagement with research. Then read Section 1.4 ('Discussion: What is public engagement with research') to reveal my discussion.


A museum display case containing objects including copper knives and dishes made from stone and clay. Each object has a printed label next to it.

1. A research student whose PhD thesis examines the ways in which collections of ancient artefacts are displayed in museums runs a drop-in session at a local museum in which visitors are asked to write their own labels for a selection of artefacts.



2. A lecturer who teaches university modules on ancient Latin literature, and who is currently writing a book about the speeches of Cicero, is invited to a local school to give an introductory talk on Virgil’s Aeneid to a class of A level Classical Civilisation students.


Scene from a modern performance of the play Lysistrata. Onstage, a woman (Lysistrata) speaks as she holds a glass of wine aloft. She is watched by five other women from the opposite side of the stage. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d9/Lysistrata_%2833999133225%29.jpg

3. A university lecturer in Classics adapts some of their teaching materials from a first-year undergraduate module to produce an online taster course about Greek drama.



4. An archaeologist who is researching a Roman site sets up a local history project sharing her work with pupils from local schools, who are invited to visit the site and to produce drawings and creative writing inspired by the finds. These pieces of work will form part of a public exhibition about the history of the site.