Dr Mary Chambers, PhD.
Head of Public Engagement with Science
Dr Mary Chambers has a PhD in mosquito transmission dynamics from University of Cambridge. She went on to a post-doctoral position at the Oxford University Clinical Research HCMC, Vietnam in 2000. Since 2006 Mary developed a training programme for local scientists and clinicians registering for PhDs at universities in the UK. Mary is now Head of Public Engagement at OUCRU, with the aims of creating dialogue about science in local communities and integrating community perspectives into OUCRU research studies. She manages a team of PE staff in HCMC, Hanoi, Kathmandu and Jakarta. Recent public engagement projects include science theatre shows with scripts about enteric disease, antibiotic resistance and dengue transmission – these have toured over 120 schools and been watched by over 100,000 children. The PE team runs a school engagement programme in local schools in HCMC and Hanoi, with science clubs, online science competitions and a weekly magazine page about science. Her team work to build communication capacity of local ‘front-line’ health workers and vets in Vietnam and Nepal. Mary has a particular interest in using digital story telling techniques to understand perceptions of local research communities, and has coordinated photo-elicitation and film projects about risk in small-scale farming practices (http://healthinthebackyard.org), patient’s experiences after discharge from hospital, health issues in vulnerable groups and the experiences of altitude sickness in religious pilgrims in Nepal.