How your research can make an impact on society

About this video

Researchers face increasing pressure to demonstrate that their work has relevance to more than just the academic world. For example, funders often want to know what societal or economic impact a project is likely to have. 

How can you define and measure that kind of impact and what are some of the side effects of bringing a wider audience in contact with science outcomes? Also, where does your responsibility as an early- or mid-career researcher start and end? Do you need to make sure legislation changes or is it enough to increase public awareness? 

Elsevier editor Dr. Alex Ford knows what can happen when your work is picked up by the mainstream media. He has seen his research summarized in headlines such as “Prawns on Prozac”, and it has even been turned into a play. In this webinar recording, he explores the theme of impact and shares his own story.

You’ll come away with an understanding of what demonstrable impact is, why you should care about it, and how you can increase yours.

About the presenter

Alex Ford

Professor of Biology, University of Portsmouth

Dr Alex Ford studied Biological Sciences as an undergraduate at Plymouth University (1993-1996), followed by an MSc in Environmental Biology at University of Wales Swansea (1997). After spells working as a Nature Conservation Officer, Pollution Control Officer and Turtle Biologist, he settled down to a Senior Research Assistant post back in Wales (Swansea University 1991-2001) where he worked on a large European funded project identifying and mapping the epibenthic diversity of the North Sea. A PhD followed at Napier University (Edinburgh) investigating the effects of pollution on the endocrine systems of crustaceans (2001-2004). On completion of his PhD he spent two and a half years lecturing at Napier University (2004-2007) followed by a Senior Research Fellowship post at the UHI Millennium Institute (2007-2008) based in Thurso (N. Scotland). He joined the School of Biological Sciences at Portsmouth University in August 2008 as a Senior Lecturer in Marine Zoology and became a Reader in Biology in 2012.