Public Engagement in a Global Pandemic
1 Science and Technology Facilities Council, Scientific Computing, Didcot, United Kingdom
2 The University of Edinburgh, School of Physics and Astronomy, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Published online: 23 August 2021
UKRI/STFC’s Scientific Computing Department (SCD) has a long and rich history of delivering face to face public engagement and outreach, both on site and in public places, as part of the wider STFC programme. Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, SCD was forced to abandon an extensive planned programme of public engagement, alongside altering the day-to-day working methods of the majority of its staff. SCD had to respond rapidly to create a new, remote only, programme for the summer and for the foreseeable future. This was initially an exercise in improvisation, identifying existing activities that could be delivered remotely with minimal changes. As the pandemic went on, SCD also created new resources specifically for a remote audience and adapted existing activities where appropriate, using our evaluation framework to ensure these activities continued to meet the aims of the in-person programme. This paper presents the process through which this was achieved, some of the benefits and challenges of remote engagement and the plans for 2021 and beyond.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2021
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.