#2 – About Gut Microbes


In the second episode of the podcast, Luke and Katie are joined by the wonderful Paul Campbell. He’ll be helping to tackle news stories about the microbiome, the bacteria that live on and in us. Join us to find out if your gut can affect your mood, and if probiotics are all they’re cracked up to be.

Have you heard?

Probiotics labelled ‘quite useless’
After A Torrent Of Criticism, A Journal Just Retracted A Study Pushing The Trendy “Gut Makeover” Diet

You can find the Have You Heard? Podcast on YouTube, iTunes, Spotify or your favourite podcasting app. We’re always happy to hear your feedback, so if you have any comments or questions, or if you want to send us a science article that you’ve seen and want to know more about, get in touch. Leave a comment below, send us an email at haveyouhearduk@gmail.com or use our contact form. You can also contact us on Twitter or Facebook.

Music in this episode:
“Funkorama”
Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Engage 2019

Earlier this month I attended the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) Engage conference, the theme of which was ‘Disruption’. The conference took place in Bristol on the 4th and 5th December and was my first foray into public engagement conferences. 

The conference programme was filled with workshops, panel sessions and a ‘living library’, where you could ‘borrow’ a human book (chat with the author about their chosen topic). This was a world away from the familiar conference experience of sitting in one room for two days to hear multiple presentations with PowerPoint! 

At the end of day 1 I had the opportunity to present the Have You Heard? Project during the ‘poster party’. I loved the opportunity to share the project with delegates, to get some useful feedback and discuss our future plans. We are at an exciting time for the project, having recently launched our podcast and been awarded funding from the British Society for Immunology Communicating Immunology grant, so I’m looking forward to incorporating ideas into our new sessions. 

Photo credit: Dee-Ann Johnson

The most memorable workshop I attended was ‘Engaging with Disrupted communities’ with Sarah Buhler on day 2 of the conference. Sarah works with the Community Legal Assistance Services for Saskatoon Inner City (CLASSIC) project to provide legal services to underprivileged communities in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. During the workshop, we discussed the disruptive forces that have shaped our lives, be those historical, social, political or colonial. Through this exercise we were reminded of the importance to situate ourselves when working with community groups, as our background influences how we interact with individuals and our work. 

Finally, I would like to share some of Kimberley Freeman’s reflections from the closing plenary of the conference 

“Research is so often painfully disconnected from the people and places most impacted by it, and I think that is fundamentally a bad thing.” 

Kimberley’s speech summarised the overarching tone of the conference, of the need for change, and I believe left us all with something to think about. You can read the full blog of the speech here

#1 – About Food and Drink


In our first episode Jason Chu, from the HYH team, joins Katie and Luke to talk about stories they’ve heard in the news about food and drink. Join us to find out if chocolate can stop you aging, how much coffee you should be drinking, and whether wine is harmful or helpful.

Have you heard?

You can live longer if you combine chocolate and zinc, according to new study
Six cups of coffee a day cuts your risks of dying early by 16%
How much wine should you really be drinking?

You can find the Have You Heard? Podcast on YouTube, iTunes, Spotify or your favourite podcasting app. We’re always happy to hear your feedback, so if you have any comments or questions, or if you want to send us a science article that you’ve seen and want to know more about, get in touch. Leave a comment below, send us an email at haveyouhearduk@gmail.com or use our contact form. You can also contact us on Twitter or Facebook.

Music in this episode:
“Funkorama”
Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Have You Heard Podcast

We are very excited to announce the launch of the Have You Heard? podcast!

Each episode, Katie Downes and Luke Chaplin from the HYH team will explore some of the science that they’ve spotted in the news. Joined by a guest, they will bring in news articles that have caught their attention. With a few laughs along the way, they will break down the article, explain the science behind it and sort the facts from the exaggerations.

You can find the Have You Heard podcast on YouTube, iTunes, Spotify or your favourite podcasting app.

The music, kindly provided, was:
“Funkorama”
Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Glasgow Science Festival 2019

When Have You Heard? was first dreamt up by a small group of friends over beers in the pub I don’t think any of us expected it to grow as it has! Over the last 2 years, the team has expanded and travelled across Greater Manchester, connecting adults with science in a community setting.

This month, we launched the Scottish chapter of HYH as part of Glasgow Science Festival. These events, held across a weekend during the Festival, were a bit of an experiment for the project. Usually we reach out to community groups and go to them in their existing community space. This time, we asked the public to come to us.

As nerve-wracking as that was, we needn’t have worried. On both days we had great individuals from across Glasgow join us in Govan Stones (go check them out – their exhibit is incredible!) who kindly hosted us & also provided much appreciated tea, coffee & cake!

We were excited to also have some new members from north of the border join the team to deliver parts of the session. Fingers crossed for more events in Scotland soon!

Making a Difference Award 2019

Back in February, the ‘Have You Heard?’ project was shortlisted for the Making a Difference Awards for Social Responsibility 2019. This is a wonderful achievement that the whole team was proud to be recognised for.

So once it came round to May, the trio of Donna, Jack and myself dressed up to the nines to enjoy an evening celebrating all the great work happening at the University of Manchester. From innovative prison-based modules in criminology, to a hate crime prevention project using Holocaust education in schools and communities across Manchester. It was truly inspiring to learn about the wide spectrum of on-going projects by students and staff of the University of Manchester.

HYH had tough competition in the category of “Outstanding local engagement in public and community engagement initiatives”. This was the most nominated category, taking up almost a third of the applications for the Making A Difference Awards.

It was a shock to us all, but we came back from the awards as winners!

Massive thanks to everyone who has supported us. In particular Engagement@Manchester for the funds to get us started and Dee-Ann Johnson for her eloquent summary of the project – [video]

Here’s to a future of making more of a difference.

MAD.png

Have You Heard? 2018 in Review

As the end of 2018 is rapidly approaching, we wanted to look back of some of the things the HYH team got up to across the last year. We’ve been fortunate enough to visit lots of local groups to hear about the types of health and science stories that have caught people’s attention. The feedback from the groups helped us to develop our handy infographic to help people judge the reliability of research-focused media reports. We’ve even used the infographic to judge news stories for our own blog posts. The image below gives you a flavour of the topics we were writing blogs about in the past year.

In the past few months, we have been joined by a host of new members, who bring lots of new and exciting ideas for HYH in 2019. So stay tuned, and in the meantime- we thank you for your support and wish you happy and healthy holidays!

Have You Heard? at Ziferblat NQ

For the final session of 2018, the HYH team ventured over to the Northern Quarter in Manchester to work with a group of young adults with Katharine Cresswell from Public Programmes Manchester.

This was a new challenge for the HYH project, as we’ve never had a real chance to trial out our workshop with teenagers.

However, we had an engaged group who were interested and found it “thought provoking” to explore this world between science and the media that they had never acknowledged before. This definitely gave us an insight into what the younger generation may do to seek the news, and how they interpret the cutting edge science that surrounds us.

We opened the floor to discussion and it was impossible to avoid the CRISPR genetically modified baby in China that broke headlines. We continued our conversation on the science, the ethics, the cultural differences, and the media frenzy alongside it.

We followed up with Jack Barton explaining the process of science making its way into the media with his own experience as an avid blogger, and how his stories have been skewed incorrectly by the media. After getting an idea of the journey from the lab, to publication, to journalism – we all got a better view of where and how miscommunication of the message could occur.

New recruit, Julieta O’Flaherty, then took over and ran the Headline Game and we went through some examples of sensationalised headlines from recent years.

  • BROCCOLI CHEMICAL MAY IMPROVE AUTISM SYMPTOMS
  • SLEEP DEPRIVATION CAN CAUSE BRAIN TO START “EATING” ITSELF
  • TATTOOS COULD GIVE YOU CANCER

We explained the science behind some of these stories, and gave our young adults the infographic and tools required to pick apart what is real science, misunderstood terms, and just plain “fake news”.

Take things with a pinch of salt and remember to read past the headline!

zifernq

HYH at Science Spectacular!

Last week the HYH team did something a little bit different to usual. We joined up with a plethora of the best scientists and communicators from the University of Manchester (among many other fantastic institutions) at Science Spectacular, part of the Manchester Science Festival.

Joining Jason, Donna, Kirsty and myself was new recruit Maddy who jumped right in at the deep end without breaking a sweat! We had a fantastic time chatting about recent science stories in the news and just generally how we hear about scientific discoveries. We also had some great discussions about how science gets from the lab to the headline and, importantly, how you can use our infographic to cut through the hype and get an idea of the research behind the headlines. We even managed to make some great contacts for groups that we can visit in the future!

HYH Sci Spec

All in all a hugely enjoyable day (and fun for me to be back in Manchester for the first time in a while). Watch this space for our next sessions and some other exciting updates from the Have You Heard? Team!

Have You Heard? at Hanna Court

How times flies, we’ve been running Have you heard for almost a year now! In June the HYH team visited the residents of Hanna Court retirement community in Handforth for another great session about science in the news. We enjoyed hearing the group’s perspectives on a wide variety of science news stories, from cannabis treatments for epilepsy to the effects of plastic on the environment. It’s always fantastic to hear people speaking up about the topics that interest them and this was no exception. We also discussed the pitfalls of reporting science and how information can get lost along the way. We learned a lot about what catches this group’s attention and how they decide which stories to trust. At times the discussion was personal for both sides which made the session memorable for all involved. One resident said in feedback “Thank you so much for personalising science.”

We were also excited to share our newly printed infographic with some simple tips for reading science news stories. This got a good reception and we are looking forward to sharing it with other groups in future. If you are interested in HYH visiting you to discuss science in the news we would be happy to discuss a meeting, get in touch with us here.