Dr Erinma Ochu, who led the mass sunflower planting as part of MOSI’s engagementcelebration of Alan Turing, has been awarded a Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellowship.

The Fellowships champion and develop upcoming stars in public engagement with science. The scheme, now in its second year, provides support for science communicators with a strong track record of delivering high-quality public engagement and aims to propel them to become leaders in their field.

Erinma will explore innovative ways to embed biomedical science in people’s everyday lives. She will investigate how ‘citizen science’ – science carried out by the public, for example in the mass planting for Turing’s Sunflowers, which invited the public to grow sunflowers in order to analyse mathematical patterns in nature – can contribute to biomedical research challenges. Working with high profile mentors, researchers and the Wellcome Trust Arts Awards team, she will also explore the role that new technologies and interactive storytelling can play.

She already holds an honorary research fellowship in the Faculty of Life Sciences. She will work in partnership with the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) and various festivals to test out new approaches.

The fellowships are part of the Wellcome Trust’s strategic vision of working with researchers and the creative industries to help societies explore and become involved with biomedical science, its future directions, its impacts on society and the ethical questions that it brings.

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