15-05-2020

2020 Public Engagement Awards celebrate outstanding contributions to the Centre

Three awards have been presented at an online ceremony to celebrate the wonderful people and projects behind another successful year of Public Engagement at the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging.

Each year, the Centre comes together at an awards ceremony to celebrate its recent public engagement activity and to recognise those who have been especially instrumental in their efforts. Staff across the Centre and external Public Engagement partners and collaborators joined the 2020 event, which was held online on Friday 15th May. The Public Engagement team were delighted to thank all those who have contributed to brilliant public engagement activities and present three awards to the very worthy winners:

The Rising Star Award recognised Alex Hopkins for her involvement in the Dear World Project from conception and collaborating on two artworks which were part of the final exhibition in February 2020. Alex developed machine learning techniques alongside fellow neuroscientist Rachel Bedder to categorise people’s thoughts and feelings from written postcards. She also collaborated with artist Harley Kuyck-Cohen to design an installation which opened conversations about anxieties people had about their futures.

Upon winning Alex said:

“I feel incredibly lucky that our centre has such an incredible PE team, it has made such a huge difference to me and my research and I’m looking forward to making PE a core part of my work in future”.

The Excellence in Public Engagement Award was presented to Kate Ledingham for her work creating videos of discussions between stroke survivors, herself and Professor Cathy Price to understand the kind of feedback patients want to receive about their language recovery after stroke. These videos were shown at UCL World Stroke Day Forum in 2019, and will be released online during Aphasia Awareness month in June 2020.

Upon winning Kate said:

“It’s especially lovely to receive this award when there have been so many great public engagement projects at WCHN this year.  I think it’s really important to include the voices of people with aphasia in our research and I’m excited to develop more projects with our participants in the future.”

Finally, the Outstanding Public Engagement Project Award recognised Dr Rimona Weil, Dr Christian Lambert and their teams on the Patterns of Perception Project; a collaboration between UCL, individuals with Parkinson’s, Central St Martins, the English National Ballet and artist Ruairiadh O’Connell, which aimed to understand Parkinson’s better through art and science. This project involved three workshops aiming to explore and understand the experiences and perceptions related to Parkinson’s disease and culminated in an exhibition at Central St Martins between the 3rd March and 24th April 2020.

Upon receiving the award Rimona said:

“We are thrilled to receive this award for the Patterns of Perception project. The project was a true collaboration between artists, dancers, people with Parkinson’s and scientists. We were so inspired by the stories and artwork that were shared and the experience has really shaped the way we think about the challenges of Parkinson’s.”

Cassandra Hugill, Public Engagement Manager added:

“‘It was a strong competition this year with each of our nominees making incredible contributions to the work that we do at the Centre. Congratulations to all of our winners and I look forward to working with them to grow their engagement work in 2020”.

You can read more about our Public Engagement Award scheme and awardees by clicking here.

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