UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage


Road to Science - Essay in the Bartlett Review 2019

7 February 2019

Dr Josep Grau–Bove essay titled "Road to Science", featured in the Bartlett Review 2018, explores tackling unequal access to scientific culture means taking science communication out of its usual venues.


At the start of the year Dr Josep Grau–Bove Lecture for Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology MRes at UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage, wrote an essay for The Bartlett 2018 review titled, “Science on the road” which detailed his experiences running his Mobile Heritage Lab.

For the past three years the “lab on wheels” has encouraged PhD students to “inspire, inform and entertain the public” with unique research and public engagement vehicle and “explore new ways in which universities can fulfil their mission of communicating science”. The Mobile Heritage Lab is a joint venture with UCL, University of Oxford & University of Brighton, with the EPSRC funding.

In the essay Dr Grau-Bove stressed the importance of science and public engagement. A report from the House of Lords on science and society found that 84% UK public agrees that science is such a big part of our lives that everyone should take an interest. With another report from BIS in 2014 also found similar findings with 91% of the public believes that young people’s interest in science is essential for prosperity.

Dr Josep Grau–Bove continues to discuss the inequalities with public access to scientific culture, public participation and cultural participation barriers. “This is important because the need for public engagement is not obvious”. Statistics have also shown strong links to income and cultural participation, with proximity of cultural facilities being further away for those who are not privileged.


Read the full essay here Road to Science by Dr Josep Grau-Bove