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ENGAGEMENT / REVIEW : Engagement through film – Cardiff sciSCREEN

24 May 2016
“What is Cardiff sciSCREEN?”
Panel discussion – Project Wild Thing
Cardiff sciSCREEN events use local expertise to discuss themes and issues raised by contemporary cinema in an entertaining and informative way. The events bring together a panel of experts with different perspectives and backgrounds, and following a film screening each expert shares their thoughts based on their research or personal experience. The public hear about the latest research at Cardiff University in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. 

In April, staff from BIOSI took part in the 48th Cardiff sciSCREEN engagement event. It was funded by an award I secured from the Wellcome Trust. Following a screening of the award-winning documentary Project Wild Thing more than 100 members of the public heard BIOSI’s newest honorary research fellow, Dr Niall McCann, talk about forging a career in engaging with the outdoors: from growing up with very outdoorsy parents to working with TV production companies, and Prof Julian Marchesi described the role of our gut microbiome and it’s importance in many aspects of human health.

“Glad I came, it gave me differing views on a familiar topic” – member of the public

The panel take questions from the audience

At the event Niall and Julian were joined by members of the Sustainable Places Research Institute, the School of Geography and Planning, and the Wales Deanery/IT and Library Services who talked about their work with young people in the Brecon Beacons, and the benefits of new digital technology including social media. Panel members are offered the opportunity to turn their talks into short written pieces which are hosted on the Cardiff sciSCREEN and act as a permanent legacy of the event. You can read the Project Wild Thing essays here.

“Always good to hear from the experts” – member of the public

I have been a member of the Cardiff sciSCREEN organising team since 2012 and have been involved to a lesser or greater extent in running 29 events to date. It has given me the opportunity to develop many useful and transferable skills including sourcing funding, managing budgets, collecting feedback and evaluating, chairing large events, project management and communicating via using social media. The Cardiff sciSCREEN team includes individuals from across the university and working with people with very different approaches and ideas has been a valuable experience which I would thoroughly recommend. We have recently turned our experiences into an article for the new engagement journal, Research for All, and hope that the sciSCREEN format that has evolved in Cardiff will be a beneficial template elsewhere.

You can find out about future events by visiting our website,, Twitter feed @sciscreen or Facebook page. Our next event is in partnership with the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics as part of the MRC Festival of Medical Research. On June 22nd, following a screening of ‘The Machinist‘ a panel of experts will talk about their research into Schizophrenia and the role of sleep in mental health, and also someone with lived experience of psychosis will share their thoughts. Tickets are free and can be booked here. If you have an idea for an event (or some money for an engagement event) then please get in touch. 

And lastly, I would like to give a quick mention to our amazing BIOSI finance team who host our accounts, these events would not be possible without their assistance.

About the contributor (added by the editorial team after the initial post):


Dr. Amy Baldwin is a Research Associate with the Cardiff School of Biosciences, and  is based in the Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI) working within the research team of Prof. Adrian Harwood.


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