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Public Engagement Seminar: The Science of Emotion

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IoPPN Seminar Room 11

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Public Engagement Seminar: The Science of Emotions from the Inside Out

Dr. Rachael Bedford

Wednesday 7th February

IoPPN Seminar Room 11, 12.30-1.30pm (feel free to bring your lunch!)

“Do you ever look at someone and wonder: What is going on inside their head?” Joy asks in the opening line of Pixar’s film Inside Out.

Inside Out is the story of 11-year-old Riley and her emotions: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust. When Riley moves with her family to California, her emotions struggle to keep her happy, and when Joy and Sadness accidentally get sucked out of Riley’s Headquarters her emotions are thrown into chaos. Can Joy and Sadness learn to work together to find their way through Riley’s mind and back to Headquarters? Can Riley come to terms with the complex emotions of growing up and learn that sometimes it’s ok to be sad?

Inside Out was a perfect movie for the Sci/Film series we run at Birkbeck using film to provoke public discussion about science. We recently ran a special screening of the film in conjunction with the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image + Children’s Film club, funded by Wellcome Trust and King’s College London. Children had chance to participate in interactive games and science studies which provided a basis for discussion about the science of emotion recognition. After the film we had an audience Q&A about how we learn to recognize emotions in ourselves and others.

This Inside Out event is the basis for my talk about public engagement, although I will also discuss other public engagement projects (e.g. Wellcome Trust funded project about Touchscreen usage in infants and toddlers). I will share my experiences of:

1) How/Where/When to apply for public engagement funding

2) Ideas for planning, organising and advertising events

3) How to run a successful event with the public

4) Evaluation and success indicators

5) Disseminating the public engagement activity.

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