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The University of Southampton
Public Engagement with Research

Case Study 2016/17

what's got up your nose

What’s got up your nose?

Project contact:

Dr Rebecca Brown, Research Fellow, Academic Unit of Clinical and Experimental Science, University of Southampton -

Engagement activitity:

Project summary:

The aim of this project was to carry out an interactive, exhibited research study about S. pneumoniae carriage with the general public. Through a stand at the Southampton Science & Engineering Festival (SSEF) on the 18th March 2017 we actively engaged with members of the public, educating them on S. pneumoniae, pneumonia and the importance of vaccination as well as explaining the process of clinical studies and the role of our research in understanding these topics. We also provided practical opportunities, allowing members of the public to understand the methods behind detecting bacteria in clinical samples, as well as make snot and “design your own S. pneumoniae”.

Key outcomes:

Due to the nature of the activity, evaluation of public engagement was assessed through direct feedback with members of the public via conversations with the team and assessment of enthusiasm for the activity. The project had a high level of enthusiasm for all aspects of the activity, with adults and older children engaging with the hands-on detection of bacteria in clinical samples and the younger children engaging with the snot making and “design your own S. pneumoniae”. Members of the public were interested in the work of the research group, particularly the swabbing and detection of bacteria, and were keen to find out how they could be actively involved with future carriage studies and public engagement events.

What's next:

The research group will continue with public engagement through their current carriage studies with the resources developed in this project used to aid recruitment and public interest in the research. In particular, the activities used to engage children (the design your own S. pneumoniae) are being incorporated into the studies to assist child understanding and engagement in the studies that they are recruited into. The lessons learnt through the ethics application process will be applied to future carriage studies that involve public engagement.

What's got up your nose | Project ReportWhat's got up your nose | Project Page
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