As part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science, I produced an event that explores our future with robots in an experiment of public engagement, science communication, and social science. We invited families to come to the Museum of Science and Industry to discuss together what this future might be, while undertaking a Lego robot building workshop with Nick Hawken and creating Noisy Toys, Steve Summers - robot instruments.
I really wanted to create an event that explored a novel social science methodology and we combined a number of techniques to give people an insight into the role of social science in developing our understanding and comprehension of the future. This is a really challenging proposition for areas where we have yet to work with a demographic of users, but is crucial to help us build a greater comprehension for the issues that might arise.
As a catalyst for the discussions, we had input from world leading experts on this field who asked the following questions of our participants:
We had fantastic support from Salford University student volunteers and the amazing contributions of Dr Marieke Navin, Salford Uni Science Communicator in Residence and Dr Gary Kerr, PhD researcher in Science Communication.
Here's a little overview