SciComm and Public Engagement

Science Stitches

Native Scientist

Scientific Art

SciComm and Public Engagement

Science Communication
is involved in developing government science policies, understanding relationships between “the public” and “scientists”, and creating science stories in the mass media, as well as exploring how people learn about and engage with science.
Dr Emily Dawson

Public Engagement
describes the myriad of ways in which the activity and benefits of higher education and research can be shared with the public. Engagement is, by definition a two-way process, involving interaction and listening, with the goal of generating mutual benefit.

Do you know what an extracellular vesicle (EV) is? Or do you want your own for teaching activities (or fun)? You can download Eve, the extracellular vesicle HERE. Also on the Thingiverse page (linked), you can find handouts with scientific information on each protein. Model created by Dr Christian Burton.

Never visited a lab before? Then, this is your chance. You can take a 360º lab tour of one of the labs from the Tissue Microenvironment Group at Cardiff University.
Find more about it by visiting
Tenovus Cancer Care.

In 2018, I was part of the Future Leaders in Cancer Research (FLiCR) academy, a Cardiff University initiative. FLiCR was funded by donations to Cardiff University, mainly through fundraising for the Cardiff half-marathon. Then, we underwent a variety of training, including media training by Hard Truth Media. As a result, we filmed, produced and edited short videos to be used for future fundraising.

In 2014, while doing my PhD at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, I had the opportunity to participate in a Falling Walls Lab. This was a very fun, yet challenging opportunity. We had training and had to present our research in 3 minutes. It is similar in format, to the 3MT competition. However, the Falling Walls is not limited to PhD students or even academics. This was a great opportunity to present my research in a very different setting.

Science Stitches – Communicating Science through Fashion

A Wellcome Trust-funded Proof-of-Concept Public Engagement, with the aim of raising awareness for cancer prevention, and bringing cancer research to the public.
This project initially targeted year 9/10 Textiles pupils, in Ysgol Cwm Brombil, Port Talbot, Wales. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, it is currently being re-structured to be delivered in another format.

Native Scientist

Native Scientist is a network of international scientists created to tackle educational disadvantage through science outreach. From 2020, I am a Project Manager for Portuguese in Cardiff.
The mission of Native Scientist is to create social impact by promoting and exploiting cultural and linguistic diversity in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths).

Thus, if you are a teacher and are interested in hosting one of our workshops, your institution/business wants to sponsor a workshop or are just interested in learning more, get in touch.

Scientific Art

While I can’t consider myself a scientific illustrator, by any means, I do enjoy dipping my toes into science art and crafts. Below you can find a collection of some of the work I’ve done and some was featured as book or scientific journal covers.

Protein earrings

As an avid crafter, this year (2020) I got myself a cutting machine. For those of you that don’t know what that is, it’s a small tabletop machine that can cut vinyl and other thin materials. While making Christmas presents, I decided to make myself some aquaporin earrings (top image). These were made using faux leather and gold foil iron-on vinyl. They represent the structure of an AQP3 tetramer. Afterwards, I made some with Huntingtin (bottom image) for Dr Emma Ynhel (check her out here). This protein is involved in the development of Huntington’s disease, which is one of Emma’s main research interests.

PhD thesis cover

The image on the right is the artwork I created for my PhD thesis. My PhD work was divided into two main parts: investigating the possible anticancer effects of new metal-containing drugs and using some of these (particularly gold ones) to study aquaporins. Hence, I wanted my cover to represent this complexity.
The painting was created using watercolours, gold leaf and digitally-added elements.
If you are interested in finding out what each of the elements on this painting means, check my blog post HERE.

Below you can find a gallery with some of the work I’ve done for myself or friends and colleagues. A few of these were featured in scientific journals and book covers.