November 3, 2016, by Lindsay Brooke

Pop up research cafe is great success

If you want the public to get involved in research why not take your science to them?

That’s just what researchers at The University of Nottingham did last week and there was no shortage of volunteers – of all ages. Not only did they have some fun, they were also able to help with tests and offer ideas on how to make future health research more relevant.

The two day Cafe Connect showcased a host of health related topics including self-harm, eating disorders and adult drinking in later life.

Held at the Nottingham Contemporary it also helped answer some of those everyday issues that put us to the test; why do we lose our car keys; why don’t people eat their greens; and how do you get children to take their medicine?

Joanne Hort, SABMiller Professor of Sensory Science, in the School of Biosciences, said: “Our pop-up café means we can work directly with people for whom the research is relevant. This model of research is unique in that it includes agenda setting and study design, data gathering and analysis, knowledge exchange and dissemination. The key benefit is that this approach allows us to reach people in the community who would not normally engage with research to facilitate meaningful patient public involvement. The café is also the ideal venue for dissemination of research findings.”

The event, funded by a Wellcome Trust’s People Award, addressed some of the grand challenges around dementia, diet-related health, mental health, ageing populations and global food security.

Taking research to the heart of the city centre recognises the importance of engaging with the public at all stages of the research life cycle to ensure it is relevant. Notts TV, BBC Radio Nottingham and BBC East Midlands Today took an interest and if you missed their coverage here’s some pictures that sum up a successful day ‘out of the lab’.

Our thanks to Andrew Hallsworth for the great photography.

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