In practice: Wetenschnapps XL, The leading networking event on public engagement

Wetenschnapps XL, the extra-large edition of the series of inspiration and development sessions organised by the Centre for Science and Culture, took place on Tuesday, 4 October 2022. Over 100 researchers and support staff involved in public engagement exchanged knowledge and experience. For the first time, this edition welcomed participants from TU Eindhoven, Wageningen University & Research, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Leiden University as well as Utrecht University. The edition was themed around collaboration, with an emphasis on cooperation between researchers and citizens: citizen science. 

Margaret Gold (Universiteit Leiden en Citizen Science Netwerk NL) en prof.dr. Helianthe Kort (TU Eindhoven en Hogeschool Utrecht) wisselen van gedachten over samenwerking tussen burgers en onderzoekers en over de vragen: wat zijn de voordelen en wat levert het deelnemende burgers op?
Photo: Lize Kraan (Margaret Gold (Leiden University and Citizen Science Netwerk NL) and Prof. Helianthe Kort (TU Eindhoven and HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht) exchange views on citizen-researcher collaborations)

"The Wetenschnapps event at Utrecht University was a fantastic event that brought an energetic group of people who are active in public engagement with science together to share experiences and insights. There were many great examples of the broad range of engagement practices – from dialogue to citizen science – that are achieving real impacts in both the quality of the research and the impacts on people's health, quality of living and living environment. I look forward to future transdisciplinary cross-pollination events like this, to continue further developing best practices together!" 

Margaret Gold is the Citizen Science Lead for the Open Science Programme at Leiden University and is coordinator at the Citizen Science Lab. 

"Lifelong learning isn't just for academics. Keeping a constant eye on developments outside your own little corner of the world will also benefit support staff. My own participation in the Wetenschnapps meeting on public engagement last October was a good case in point. It was really refreshing to meet with other colleagues and hear how they approached the issues we're facing. For example, we discussed research results, best practices and the new ideas they generate. It was especially refreshing to share experiences from our day-to-day work. That's really inspiring: it energises you and helps you optimise working processes at your own university. I think we should set up a communication network within the alliance. After all, we still have so much to learn." 

Bianca Moonen is a communications consultant at TU Eindhoven's Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry 

Text: Stephanie Helfferich

Tijdens één van de workshops leren deelnemers hoe je een public engagementactiviteit ontwerpt.
Photo: Lize Kraan (Participants learn how to design a public engagement activity during one of the workshops)


This article also appears in the third edition of the magazine Close-Up, full of inspiring columns, background stories and experiences of researchers and support staff.

Go to Close-up #3