Catalyst project

The Catalyst project was a three-year, RCUK-funded, project to support and develop a culture of public engagement with research within the University of Exeter. Through the Catalyst our researchers worked with:

  • Families to facilitate discussions about physics.
  • Dance educators to facilitate teachers using research in the classroom.
  • Communities to explore light pollution through creating artistic responses to having the lights switched off in their area.
  • Other researchers and the Eden project to develop communication skills for PhD students.
  • Each other to share experiences of setting up a group where community members can comment on, and contribute to, aspects of research.
  • Policy-makers to inform the creation of a rapid-response tool to help policy-makers have access to up to date research community groups to discuss the implications of research findings.
  • Community groups to join internal boards and groups which monitor our research.

There was a blog about the project, which acted as an open record of our thoughts and decisions as the project developed. Part of its legacy is a group of Public Engagement Champions across the University.