How to hold effective public engagement - ESRC

Public engagement involves activities that bring researchers and the public together.

It is more than just meeting an audience and telling them about your research. Effective public engagement is about two-way communication, with the researcher listening to and learning from participants.

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) recognises a range of public engagement activities, from engaging people with social science concepts through staging debates to involving key stakeholders in shaping research priorities and directions.

Done well, public engagement can build trust and understanding between the social science research community and a wide range of groups, from policymakers through to school children.

It can also help you strengthen your research questions or improve the response rate to data collection methods, and build on the wider activities of your strategy.

Last updated: 31 August 2021

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