Public engagement as purpose: methods, practices and implications for geographical research 4

Type: Panel
Theme: Public Engagement in Geography
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 2:40 PM / 4:20 PM (MDT)
Room: Napoleon A2, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Organizers: Nadia Bartolini, Johanna Wadsley
Chairs: Johanna Wadsley


There has been a long-standing tradition of public engagement within geography (Pain 2004; Ward 2006; Saunders and Moles 2013). In recent years, however, geographers have been more and more involved in embedding principles and practices of engagement beyond the academy as cornerstones of research design (see, for instance, Dickens and Butcher 2016; Waterton and Tsouvalis 2015; Hawkins 2015; Kraftl 2013; Last 2012; Lopez-Galviz et al. forthcoming, and the special issues convened by Jacobs and Milne in 2016). This may be due to an increased interest in research councils (in the UK, in particular) to include public engagement as an essential component in funding proposals (see RCUK’s Public Engagement webpage). As such, there has been a desire within academia to explore an expanding repertoire of means and methods to engage a variety of different publics outside Higher Education Institutions: from professionals involved in policy development to communities experiencing social and/or environmental change.

This panel session seeks to discuss emerging trends and themes, as well as critical considerations of techniques and methods that engage publics, however defined. We are also interested in reflecting upon the impact of the engagement and/or impact agenda within the academy. The session is not bound by specific areas of expertise within geography, but rather, it is aimed at gathering PhD students, early career researchers, artists, practitioners and established academics for an evaluative exchange on the ways through which they have embraced engagement as a principle and practice in the context of their work. In particular, through this panel session, we are encouraging an open and supportive discussion where lessons can be shared about what has – and has not – worked when engaging publics.


Type Details Minutes
Panelist Luke Dickens King's College London 20
Discussant Megan Blake 20
Discussant Steve Pile The Open University 20
Discussant Nadia Bartolini University of Exeter 20

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