Mind the gap: Science broadcasting and public engagement

Date: 2nd March, 2016
Start Time: 18:00 hrs
Venue: Lecture Theatre 2, Judge Business School, Cambridge

Science is part of our daily life. When turning on the TV in the evening or taking medicine against a cold, we rely on scientific discoveries and research for centuries. Despite its prevalence in daily life, scientific research sometimes seems quite distinct from the public, nourishing the gap between science and society. However new discoveries and more research is dependent on the broader societal acceptance of public funding of science, reliant on the effective communication, broadcasting and public engagement. The aim of this event is to discuss different initiatives and approaches aimed at bridging the gap between science and society.

Confirmed speakers:

Julian Huppert

Liberal Democrat politician in the United Kingdom and former Member of Parliament for Cambridge

Huppert, who has expressed disappointment at scientific understanding amongst MPs, has been described by Cambridge Liberal Democrats and others as “the only scientist” in the House of Commons. During his eight years serving as a County Councillor on Cambridgeshire County Council for Cambridge’s East Chesterton area, Huppert helped open Brown’s Field Community Centre, chaired the Cambridge Traffic Management Committee and served on the Regional Assembly. His interests in internationalism, the UN and human rights have led him to his position on the National Council of Liberty, formerly the National Council for Civil Liberties, from which he has since stood down.

Nicola Buckley

Head of Public Engagement at Cambridge University

Nicola Buckley has worked in public engagement roles for the University since 2004 and has been the head of the public engagement team since 2010. Her role includes overseeing the annual Cambridge Science Festival, Cambridge Festival of Ideas, other public events and public engagement initiatives. These include the Cambridge Community Knowledge Exchange, which matches research requests from civil society organisations with student dissertation opportunities. Nicola is studying part-time for a PhD at the Institute of Education, University of London, investigating opportunities and challenges in co-creating student social science research projects with civil society organisations. Nicola has a BA in History and an MPhil in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge and an MSc in Science and Society from the Open University. Prior to her current role at the University, Nicola worked in fundraising and communications roles in the UK voluntary sector, for Addaction, Fight for Sight and Breast Cancer Haven.

Miriam Frankel

Science editor at “The Conversation”

Miriam worked for four years as a reporter and news editor of Research Fortnight, a specialist publication focusing on science, technology and higher education policy. She has previously written for publications including New Scientist, Nature and Physics World. She also has a background as a PhD student in atomic physics, specialising in laboratory astrophysics.


Join the Cambridge University Science & Policy Exchange as we debate this important topic from both a practice and research perspective.

The lecture will be followed by a dinner with invited guests. Find more information on how to apply for the dinner in the registration link.