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Back From the Dead wins University Public Engagement Award



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Two Oxford Martin Fellows have been awarded a prize in the 2017 Vice-Chancellor’s Public Engagement with Research Awards, which celebrate public engagement work across the University.

Dr Claas Kirchhelle and Dr Andreas Kappes, of the Oxford Martin Programme on Collective Responsibility for Infectious Disease, won the award alongside colleagues at Museum of the History of Science, for their work on the Back from the Dead – Demystifying Antibiotics exhibition. The exhibition celebrated the 75th anniversary of the first clinical trials of penicillin, explored the complex history of antibiotic development and addressed the urgent global health threat posed by antibiotic resistance, a key focus of the Programme on Collective Responsibility for Infectious Disease

Back from the Dead challenged common antibiotic myths and generated new research data by surveying public understandings of antibiotics, antimicrobial resistance and attitudes towards antibiotic stewardship. The survey data will feed into a future Oxford Martin School policy paper and the exhibition will leave a physical legacy in the form of a permanent display in the museum. Together with public events, gallery tours, arts workshops and a schools engagement programme, Back from the Dead attracted 47,796 visitors.

The Vice-Chancellor's Public Engagement with Research Awards recognise and reward those at the University who undertake high-quality engagement activities and have contributed to building capacity in this area. Back from the Dead was one of six winners in the Project category of the awards.

Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor said: “I have been deeply impressed by the quality of the public engagement with research projects submitted for this year’s awards. The breadth and diversity of the activities taking place show how seriously the University takes its commitment to public engagement.”

Professor Alison Woollard, the University’s Academic Champion for Public Engagement with Research commented: “Public engagement enriches both research and society and the University is committed to enabling our researchers to inspire, consult and collaborate with the public. I’m delighted that we are able to recognise and highlight the fantastic work our researchers are doing and hope these awards encourage more colleagues across the University to carry out their own public engagement with research.”

Watch a video about the exhibition below