Factors Affecting Public Engagement by Researchers

Tracking how researchers view public engagement and the level of support on offer.

One of the first decisions taken by the National Forum for Public Engagement with STEM was to support a re-run of an adapted version of the landmark 2006 survey, ‘Factors Affecting Science Communication’.  The original survey provided compelling evidence that universities and research institutes provided very patchy support and encouragement to researchers who wanted to engage with the public.  The findings led to a number of important interventions, including the establishment of the 6 Beacons for Public Engagement and the founding of the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement, which now provides the Forum secretariat.

The 2015 survey revisited the original survey, and adapted it to track support for public engagement across all the disciplines, not just STEM.  The survey revealed that researchers now are more motivated to do public engagement, although they still experience challenges. The results suggest that we still need to do more to make public engagement an essential part of a research career.

You can access the survey results here: