NERC – the Natural Environment Research Council – is the leading funder of independent research, training and innovation in environmental science in the UK.
As the leading commissioner of UK environmental science, NERC emphasises the value of public engagement. Our Royal Charter states NERC’s obligation to ‘encourage public engagement and dialogue’, ‘communicate research outcomes’ and ‘generate public awareness’ of the environmental science we fund. Public engagement brings benefits to research, ensuring relevance to society and a wider perspective on social and ethical implications. Similarly, public engagement is also beneficial to society through broadening attitudes, empowering people and enriching citizenship, as well as inspiring members of the public and future researchers.
Through our own public engagement with research strategy we aim to:
- Convene informed public debate about contemporary issues in environmental science, including the ethical and social implications.
- Inform, interest and inspire members of the public and future researchers in environmental science and the processes of research, in a way that is accessible and relevant.
- Carry out public dialogue on complex and controversial issues. Actively listening to members of the public allows NERC to make decisions that are relevant to society.