Professor teams up with museum to share microplastic research

A Staffordshire University Professor is among the first to receive new British Academy funding to engage the public with her research.

ClaireGwinnettBritishAcademyforweb

Glenn Roadley, Curator of Natural Sciences, PMAG, and Professor Claire Gwinnett at the British Academy

“We’re thrilled to receive this funding and are excited to begin sharing our research with people across Staffordshire in fun and creative ways.”

Claire Gwinnett, Professor of Forensic and Environmental Science

Working with the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery (PMAG), Professor Claire Gwinnett has been awarded pilot funding from the British Academy, the UK's national body for the humanities and social sciences, to engage the public with her research into microplastic pollution.

The Professor of Forensic and Environmental Science is one of fourteen researchers across thirteen projects to receive funding via the British Academy’s new SHAPE Involve and Engage Awards, a pilot scheme designed to support creative methods of engaging the public in cutting edge SHAPE research (social sciences, humanities and the arts for people and the economy).

Each award,  worth up to £8000, is in partnership with a regional cultural organisation, including galleries, libraries, archives and museums. The projects will inspire and connect local communities and audiences with SHAPE research topics and meaningfully involve them in the creation of new research outputs.

Professor Gwinnett and the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery (PMAG) aim to engage and educate families in Staffordshire about the impact of human activities on our planet and the resulting microplastic pollution.

Professor Gwinnett said: “We’re thrilled to receive this funding and are excited to begin sharing our research with people across Staffordshire in fun and creative ways.”

“These hands-on activities will be designed to be a positive and educational experience for families; devoid of guilt and instead celebrating human ingenuity and brilliance in designing and creating objects, products and solutions in industry and using the same ingenuity to now solve the plastic waste problem.”

Their projects will be delivered between October 2023 and October 2024, with more details of public activities and events to be revealed soon.

Professor Julia Black, President of the British Academy, said: “ I know that the review panel were struck by the sheer creativity, innovation, diversity and variety held not only within our disciplines, but in how researchers feel they can meaningfully engage with audiences through arts and culture institutions which sit in the hearts of communities. On behalf of the Academy, I offer my warmest congratulations to those who have received awards. We hope that their partnerships will inspire and spark new meaningful connections between communities and the humanities, social sciences and arts.”

 

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