The LSE Impact Blog has just published a short article on the findings of the Factors Affecting Public Engagement by Researchers project that was undertaken in 2015 and was funded by a consortium of 15 UK funders, led by Wellcome Trust. The article summarises the findings and provides links to more detailed reports and papers.
The research suggests that large majorities of researchers have participated in public engagement and are broadly positive about it, while institutions are also shown to be supportive. However, a lack of time, opportunities, funding, and reward are cited as constraints. Meanwhile, public engagement appears more firmly embedded in the arts, humanities and social sciences than it is among STEM researchers. The provision of effective, accessible training is found to be an important precursor to participation in public engagement. The article offers some tactical responses to the findings, but also asks some more challenging questions.