Innovative and effective communication is crucial in supporting the overall Unit mission. The BSU covers many areas of statistical application which are of great interest to the general public. We co-ordinate various public engagement and communications activities which showcase the breadth of biostatistics research and its importance in clinical medicine and public health.
We are regular exhibitors at Cambridge Science Festival which is held in March every year and attracts more than 30,000 visitor. We have also taken part in the MRC Festival of Medical Research, Big Biology Day, and STEM Fair. We develop and present an exciting selection of hands-on activities for these events, designed to inform and inspire lay audiences.
Dr Simon White, Senior Investigator Scientist and Unit Public Engagement Champion, recently took part in an exciting new project with the Royal Statistical Society (RSS), filming demonstrations of two of the hands-on statistics activities he has helped to create; ‘Biased Sampling’, and ‘How Random Are You’ – see videos below. They are for use by RSS members at careers fairs, at festivals and in schools, and consist of short, practical activities for face-to-face interactions. Further details at the RSS website
UoC Public Engagement with Research Case Studies
Dr Simon White designed an activity to explain longitudinal studies and illustrate statistical concepts of missing data in such studies. Simon demonstrates that statistics can be engaging and fun!
Funding for this project was awarded through the University of Cambridge Public Engagement Seed Fund – further information at: http://www.cam.ac.uk/public-engagement/information-for-staff-and-students/public-engagement-starter-fund/public-engagement-with-research-case-studies
Engaging with school students
There is a well-recognised skills gap in the field of biostatistics. By engaging with school students, we aim to overcome some of the misconceptions and negative views that prevent pupils’ engagement with and progression in the subjects that will ultimately deliver the young statisticians of the future.
We also take part in the Nuffield Placement Scheme every year, hosting A-Level students for a summer work experience placement – read more. Our student from 2016 gave this feedback about his placement at the BSU, supervised by Simon White:
“I’m writing this to say thank you for letting me undertake a Nuffield project with you and helping me so much with it. I have recently been given a place at medical school. I wanted to thank you because I wouldn’t have got in if not for the Nuffield project.”
- A pint of statistical fun
- Visit from Dr Paul Birrell – Mill Hill County High School
- A month in the life of a Statistician
- Why statistics is important – BSU Open Day 2016
- Inspiring with statistics at STEM Fair 2016
- BSU at FameLab: Balloons, newspapers & misleading statistics in the media
- Having fun with statistics at Cambridge Science Festival 2016
Keep in touch
Twitter: We regularly tweet about the various research activities members of the BSU take part in, including newly published papers, new collaborations, workshops and events. To follow us on Twitter, go to: https://twitter.com/MRC_BSU
Website: Keep up to date with our latest research news and events, as well as information on recruitment, PhD opportunities and our short courses, by visiting our website home page: www.mrc-bsu.cam.ac.uk
If you have any enquiries relating to the BSU’s work on public engagement, please contact Alison Quenault