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These principles have drawn heavily on the knowledge, research and practice of public engagement practitioners in the UK, from academics to government officials and research funders.

In June this year (2018) Nesta ran a public dialogue with Involve on the use of AI in health, and I benefited from many discussions with Simon Burall and Remco Van der Stoep about both the theory and practice of public engagement. In May we organised a public engagement event and I benefited from hearing informative presentations from Jack Stilgoe (UCL) and Imran Khan (Wellcome Trust). I have also attended and learnt from many external events over the past year, most notably a round table organised by Imogen Parker and Reema Patel who are setting up the Ada Lovelace Institute at the Nuffield Foundation. I have also learnt a huge amount from working closely with the grantees of our Everyone Makes Innovation Policy Programme.

The literature on public engagement is vast and mentioning just one or two works runs the risk of alienating other authors. But facing that risk head on, a number of works have done a lot to shape my thinking: What’s this public ‘engagement’ with science thing then? by Alice Bell is a great place to start and points to a number of useful resources. Why should we promote public engagement with science? by Jack Stilgoe and James Wilson provides an academic perspective on the state of public engagement; Deliberative Public Engagement, by Involve, is a fantastic resource on the when, why and how of involving people in decision making. For government resources, see the Science Communication and Engagement (PDF) report of the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee. See also the Sciencewise report: The Government’s Approach to Public Dialogue on Science and Technology (PDF). The website of the National Centre for Public Engagement is full of useful resources and how to guides. One starting point might be Embedding a Culture of Public Engagement. (PDF)

The final set of principles have also benefited from detailed comments from Simon Burall (Involve), Jenni Chambers (UKRI), Imran Khan (Wellcome Trust), Paul Manners (NCCPE), Peter Mcowan and his team (Queen Mary, University of London) and Jack Stilgoe (UCL) also Nesta colleagues: Theo Bass, Madeleine Gabriel, Alex Glennie, Jen Rae and Ben Reid and Kirsten Bound.


Tom Saunders

Tom Saunders

Tom Saunders

Principal Researcher

Tom was a Principal Researcher in the inclusive innovation team.

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