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University of Bath

Helen Featherstone PhD Head of Public Engagement

The strategic lead for public engagement with research for the University.


Helen leads the Public Engagement Unit, which works to support a positive culture of public engagement with research.

The Public Engagement Unit’s work operates across four areas:

  • doing public engagement
  • learning about public engagement
  • celebrating public engagement
  • leading on public engagement

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Helen is a mentor for:

  • Public Engagement Leads at two Wellcome Trust Centres
  • the Public Engagement Academy run by the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement

Helen teaches on the MSc Science Communication course and the Science Communication Masterclass run by UWE Bristol.


Helen has extensive experience in practical STEM engagement activities, primarily in interactive Science and Discovery Centres, including the Science Museum, London and We The Curious, Bristol. For 16 years she was responsible for all aspects of these engagement activities including fundraising, project management, content and event delivery, collaborative working and evaluation.

Helen did her PhD and post-doc research at UWE Bristol, looking at the publics' roles in public engagement.

She was the Chair of the Visitor Studies Group from 2009 to 2012. Before moving to the University of Bath, Helen was leading public engagement work at the University of Exeter.


  • PhD, Risk Communication of Climate Change: Stakeholder Messages and Public Responses, UWE Bristol
  • MSc, Science Communication, University of Glamorgan with Techniquest
  • BSc, Biology (with Physics), Keele University