Winchester Science Centre and University of Southampton launch new partnership for public engagement

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A new strategic partnership for public engagement has been forged between Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium and the University of Southampton. It is inspired by a shared vision to change the world for the better by revolutionising public engagement for the enhancement of knowledge and understanding of science.

The partnership is the start of a formal alliance to bring the University’s latest world-leading research into the hearts and minds of visitors to the Science Centre, and it was formally launched at a special event held at the Science Centre.

“Scientific public engagement has the potential to transform lives. It educates, empowers and inspires generations and encourages debate about topical issues that affect us all,” explains Ben Ward, CEO of Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium.

“Winchester Science Centre is thrilled to be working with cutting-edge researchers from the University of Southampton, helping to bridge the gap between academic research and the general public. Our new partnership enables the Centre to highlight the importance of STEM learning through new interactive displays built in collaboration with the University, based on their world-changing research and how it impacts everyday life.”

One of the University’s exhibits on show at the Science Centre is an interactive game that highlight’s the world’s ongoing battle against Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR). Designed by Professor Tim Leighton, Founding Chair of the Network for Anti-Microbial Resistance and Infection Prevention at the University of Southampton, the exhibit explains the dangers of AMR and what we can do to combat it. The display is designed for all ages and Professor Leighton describes it as ‘the most dangerous game in the world’ – it is estimated that by 2050, if not tackled, AMR will kill more people than cancer and cost globally more than the size of the current global economy (Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, 2014).

Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Southampton added: “It was my great pleasure to join with our colleagues from Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium to launch this new strategic partnership which represents a shared vision with the University of Southampton to use public engagement in science as a catalyst for activities that will lead us all to changing the world for the better.

“It’s vital for the University to access a number of platforms to publicly demonstrate the many features and benefits of our research and education. The Science Centre has been invaluable in working with us to achieve this goal over many years and I look forward to an even closer collaboration going forward as we explore ever more exciting ways to communicate our cutting-edge research and world-class education.”