02-05-2021

Spotlight on the Nominees: Stephen Fleming (Excellence in Public Engagement)

As the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging’s 2021 Public Engagement Awards draw closer, we shine a spotlight on each of the nominees to celebrate their contribution to another year of outstanding public engagement at the Centre.

Building on an already impressive portfolio of creative and impactful engagement, Excellence in Public Engagement nominee Dr Stephen Fleming has spent the last few years working on a number of projects which strengthen the bond between his scientific research and people with neuropsychiatric conditions.

A standout quality of Stephen’s work is his ability to embed the lived experiences of members of the public. Stephen took his MetacogMission app (developed alongside PhD student Andrew McWilliams and technology company DamnFine) to the public at Latitude Festival’s BrainHub and the Tate Modern’s Self-Impressions event, allowing him to integrate feedback from attendees. The app assesses users’ metacognition, which is the ability to reflect on one’s own thinking.

Steve Fleming and team

Stephen is also a keen collaborator with external partners – from software developers, to charities, to film producers. Currently, he is leading Kronos: the dementia film project, which aims to engage with people with dementia and their carers. As well as an exciting creative endeavour, Stephen and the project team hope the film will encourage open and honest discussion of self-awareness in dementia and inform future research in the Metacognition lab.

Importantly, Stephen’s activities benefit not just the public, but also other members of the Centre. His thorough understanding and appreciation for the benefits of public engagement spread throughout the Metacognition team and beyond, making a significant contribution to the culture of public engagement within the Centre.

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