Wellcome Genome Campus wins silver watermark to recognise its support for public engagement
Award reflects work to nurture a culture where public engagement is supported and encouraged
The long-standing efforts of the Wellcome Genome Campus to engage and inspire the public have today (29 November 2018) been rewarded with the Silver Engage Watermark from the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE). The Engage Watermark recognises strategic support for public engagement across the organisation, as well as the commitment to develop plans for the future.
The Wellcome Genome Campus is home to some of the world’s foremost institutes and organisations in genomics and computational biology including the Wellcome Sanger Institute and EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), and also major engagement programmes, through Connecting Science. Established 25 years ago to spearhead the UK’s role in the International Human Genome Project, the Campus is founded on principles of openness and sharing of scientific data. Engaging with stakeholders including the public is a vital part of sharing and shaping this science.
“We are delighted to be able to award Wellcome Genome Campus a Silver Engage Watermark. There is a long history of public engagement activity at the campus, with dedicated staff, significant investment, and many opportunities for staff and students to become involved. The leadership team see public engagement as an essential part of the campus, and the future for public engagement looks very bright with such talented and committed people involved.”
Paul Manners Director of the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE)
“Genomics is rapidly becoming part of people’s everyday lives, and it’s our goal to enable everyone to explore this deeply personal science. We’ve been working hard to embed a culture of public engagement across the full range of staff and students on the Wellcome Genome Campus. Achieving this Silver Watermark is a fitting testament to the efforts of everyone and our future plans for public engagement across the campus.”
The National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) champions meaningful engagement where the benefits of research can be shared with the public and which can make a real difference to people’s lives. Their Engage Watermark assesses an institute’s public engagement and recognises achievements and plans in developing more effective ways to engage with society.
Winning a silver Engage Watermark is a significant achievement. It demonstrates that the institution has made significant progress in addressing its level of support for public engagement. The institution is using evidence and intelligence to focus its efforts and future plans, and has an action plan in place, and appropriate resources allocated, to build on the momentum and address any areas of weakness. Clear success measures have been identified and there is a high level of institutional commitment to further improvements.
“We are very keen to encourage more people to embrace public engagement and provide more opportunities for staff and students. Our plans towards a coordinated strategy across the different institutes on site will help to build a culture of engagement throughout the entire campus.”
Dr Ewan Birney Director of EMBL-EBI
“We are really pleased that the efforts and progress of our researchers and public engagement team have been recognised with this Silver Watermark. We are committed to developing a culture where public engagement is supported and encouraged and this award gives us a very strong platform for our next steps in public engagement.”
Professor Sir Mike Stratton Director of the Wellcome Sanger Institute, and Chief Executive Officer of the Wellcome Genome Campus
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The National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) is internationally recognised for its work supporting and inspiring universities to engage with the public. It works to change perspectives, promote innovation, and nurture and celebrate excellence. It also champions meaningful engagement that makes a real and measurable difference to people’s lives.
The NCCPE is supported by UK Research and Innovation, the devolved Higher Education funding bodies, and Wellcome, and has been hosted by the University of Bristol and UWE Bristol since it was established in 2008.
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.
You can find out more about the NCCPE at www.publicengagement.ac.uk
Through a wide range of projects, activities, visits and events Wellcome Genome Campus Public Engagement encourages exploration and discussion about genomics, from exciting research findings to the social and ethical questions it can raise. Working together with collaborators in scientific research, the arts and humanities, public engagement and education specialists, and cultural organisations, we aim to share knowledge, spark discussions, and foster a community of engaged researchers. Wellcome Genome Campus Public Engagement is part of Connecting Science. https://publicengagement.wellcomegenomecampus.org/
Wellcome Genome Campus Connecting Science’s mission is to enable everyone to explore genomic science and its impact on research, health and society. We connect researchers, health professionals and the wider public, creating opportunities and spaces to explore genomic science and its impact on people. Connecting Science inspires new thinking, sparks conversation, supports learning and measures attitudes, drawing on the ground-breaking research taking place on the Wellcome Genome Campus. www.wellcomegenomecampus.org/connectingscience
The European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) is a global leader in the storage, analysis and dissemination of large biological datasets. We help scientists realise the potential of ‘big data’ by enhancing their ability to exploit complex information to make discoveries that benefit humankind. We are at the forefront of computational biology research, with work spanning sequence analysis methods, multi-dimensional statistical analysis and data-driven biological discovery, from plant biology to mammalian development and disease. We are part of EMBL and are located on the Wellcome Genome Campus, one of the world’s largest concentrations of scientific and technical expertise in genomics. www.ebi.ac.uk
The Wellcome Sanger Institute is one of the world’s leading genome centres. Through its ability to conduct research at scale, it is able to engage in bold and long-term exploratory projects that are designed to influence and empower medical science globally. Institute research findings, generated through its own research programmes and through its leading role in international consortia, are being used to develop new diagnostics and treatments for human disease. To celebrate its 25th year in 2018, the Institute is sequencing 25 new genomes of species in the UK. Find out more at www.sanger.ac.uk or follow @sangerinstitute on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn
Wellcome exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. We’re a global charitable foundation, both politically and financially independent. We support scientists and researchers, take on big problems, fuel imaginations and spark debate. www.wellcome.ac.uk
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