LIVE with Scientists is a nonprofit initiative devoted to providing equal access to science for everyone. It is an online platform for hosting and archiving LIVE science talks and interviews, and publishing podcasts and blogs on scientific topics that are most relevant to the public.
We are passionate scientists from the University of Manchester, UK who want to make a difference in the way we communicate science. The problem is, conventional public engagement events do NOT necessarily provide equal access to science for everyone. Although science talks at a pub or engagement events at a museum sound good and are accessible to students, young professionals or retirees, they are NOT accessible to people with caring responsibilities, disabilities, financial hardship or low socioeconomic backgrounds, religious beliefs, irregular working patterns, and many other commitments or constraints. Moreover, most science events take place in larger cities which do not encourage people from rural areas to engage in science.
That’s why we built LIVE with scientists to reach out to everyone, regardless of time, space, commitments and circumstances.
Who benefits from our work?
In short, everyone! But in particular, we are reaching out to:
- Underrepresented communities
The aim: to advertise our events through colleges in underrepresented areas of Manchester and Greater Manchester.
- Non-scientific communities
The aim: to liaise with organisations such as Indian Alliance to arrange public lectures and give groups otherwise not exposed to research access to eminent scientists and their work.
- Special needs families
The aim: to design events and online material accessible for individuals with special needs (such as autism) and their families, who would usually face difficulties in attending a formal talk.
- Younger generations
The aim: to use this online platform as a tool to inform, engage and inspire younger people that have been underrepresented in the audience demographic of our physical talks.
What do our volunteers do?
1. Network Building
We are constantly establishing contacts with local charities, colleges, universities, societies and organisations to collaborate on public engagement efforts and advertise our events through their platforms.
2. Inviting and Coordinating Speakers
Through polls on our online platforms, we find out which scientific topics our audience want to learn about and then set off to track down speakers! These are experts in a variety of fields, from psychology to microbiology, engaging in cutting-edge research in academia and industry.
3. Advertising Events and Managing Online Platforms
We can currently be found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Spotify and YouTube, which will be updated with the latest information on scheduled talks, interviews and blog articles. We also advertise all of our events and content through mailing lists, and use all of our online platforms to respond to queries and feedback from our audience.
4. Hosting and Live Streaming Talks
All talks will be live streamed through our website, with viewers able to submit questions and comments that are relayed to the speaker via the live host.
5. Developing Online Material
Our volunteers are constantly identifying and inviting scientific experts to engage in interviews and live discussions or publish blog articles about their research. We will also archive live streamed talks, interviews and discussions so that they are always available to re-watch.