Focus on the Positive puts university research in the audience’s hands

11 October 2012

Focus on the Postive

The world is full of problems, but it’s also full of brilliant people, chipping away at those problems with their ideas and expertise.

Focus on the Positive is an event which gives the audience a chance to choose how to improve the world. On 30 October at London’s Phoenix Cavendish Square, they will meet some of UCL’s inspiring researchers, who’ll be pitching exactly how they want to tackle the big issues.

With the help of the host, stand-up comedian Lloyd Langford (Ask Rhod Gilbert, Sony Award nominee 2011), the audience get to decide which project to fund. The winning idea, as voted for by the audience, wins £2000 in prize money to fix the world!

They might suggest using the money for new research, to start a project or to work with a particular charity. A runner-up will receive £1000 prize to take their project forward.

It’s a great opportunity to debate some big questions, meet people who are passionate about changing the world for the better, and make a difference.

Focus on the Positive is a radical way of opening up new avenues of participation in university research. It’s rare that the public gets to debate and then directly influence research ideas.

Steve Cross, (UCL Public Engagement)

Steve Cross, Head of Public Engagement at UCL, said: “Not only will it be a fun and inspiring night, Focus on the Positive is a radical way of opening up new avenues of participation in university research. It’s rare that the public gets to debate and then directly influence research ideas. This is a new way of applying UCL’s research to real-world problems, and I’m excited to see how the audience will decide on the night.”

Focus on the positive is organised by UCL Public Engagement Unit and supported by EPSRC, one of the funding councils that support research in UK universities.

At the event on 30 October, UCL researchers will be pitching a range of solutions to real-world problems, including improving radiotherapy in Africa, supporting environmental education in inner-city primary schools, and improving the way in which public spaces can be created by combining interactive installations with architecture.

A previous event was won by Dr Hannah Fry (UCL Mathematics). In the wake of her research into the causes of the London riots in 2011, Hannah suggested a need to raise awareness of the issues affecting young people, in particular through government cuts to youth services. She proposed making and promoting a documentary film, which would air the views of young people in the poorest areas of London.


Links:

UCL Public Engagement
EPSRC