In population research, important issues affecting every person's life are often hidden behind abstract figures like the number of births, the mortality rate or net migration. So while the challenge of an ageing society is recognised by the public, its complexity is less well understood.
This project developed and adapted a hands-on exhibition that was initially created by a team at the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science in Germany and Population Europe (of which the ESRC Centre for Population Change is a founding member). The exhibition builds a bridge between experts with specialised knowledge and the broader public, not only by providing information but also by encouraging interactive participation of the audience. In doing so the exhibition brings the importance of holistic thinking about ageing to the forefront.
To accompany the exhibition a set of free educational resources has been developed, making the research accessible to a younger audience and emphasising the relevance of demographic research to this generation. Liaising with educational experts including Education Scotland, Princes Trust Wales and teachers ensures the resources compliment the National Curriculum and are effective for schools and youth groups. The teaching materials can be used in conjunction with a guided tour of the exhibition by pupils, or as standalone classroom lesson.
To engage with decision makers, private-view events including talks from academics and policy makers are delivered at each tour location. These offer policy makers and practitioners the opportunity to speak to research leads and explore further details of the exhibition content.
The exhibition has so far toured a variety of venues in 7 cities, ranging from shopping centres to children’s science museums, to ensure the research reaches audiences that do not usually engage with academic research. The project is ongoing with tours throughout Europe coming soon.
A summary of the project and free downloadable educational resources is available on the project website
|7-9 September 2015||Paper discussing the exhibition at the BSPS Conference 2015 held at the University of Leeds.||Paper titled “Engaging the layman with demographic research; lessons from a case study of an interactive exhibition” written by Jane Falkingham, Teresa McGowan, Genna West and Andreas Edel was presented at the conference.|
|19-28 February 2015||Exhibition held at W5 in Belfast.||The venue for the Northern Irish part of the exhibition was the W5 exhibition centre in Belfast.|
|2-4 December 2014||Exhibition held at the Pierhead National Assembly building in Cardiff.||The Welsh leg of the exhibition took place at the Pierhead National Assembly building in Cardiff. This included a launch event at lunchtime on the 2nd December.|
|25-28 November 2014||Exhibition held at Millennium Point in Birmingham.||The exhibition was showcased in the midlands at Millennium Point in Birmingham, including a launch event on the evening of the 25th November.|
|17-21 November 2014||Exhibition held at Silverburn Shopping Centre in Glasgow.||The Scottish part of the exhibition took place in Silverburn shopping centre in Glasgow. The launch event took place on the evening of the 18th November.|
|10-14 November 2014||Exhibition held at The Lowry in Manchester.||The Northern England part of the exhibition tour took place in The Lowry art and entertainment centre in Manchester. The launch event took place on the evening of Monday 10th November.|
|29 October-2 November 2014||Exhibition held at the gallery@OXO in London.||The exhibition was showcased in London at the gallery@OXO including a launch event which took place on Thursday 30th October.|
|20-26 October 2014||Exhibition held at West Quay in Southampton.||The exhibition arrived in the South of England at the beginning of its tour at Southampton’s main shopping centre, West Quay. The main launch event took place on Monday 20th October 2014.|
|16-18 October 2014||Exhibition held at the University of Southampton.||The exhibition was showcased at the University for students to view before the main tour took place.|
You can browse all CPC publications here.
The ESRC Festival of Social Science, What could you do? Blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk, 27 March 2015.
CPC’s Knowledge Exchange Manager Genna West is interviewed about the CPC exhibition on the “Focal Point” programme for Northern Vision’s NVTV, 26 February 2015 (broadcast 7pm and 10,30pm).
“How to live to be 100.” Health Matters supplement, Belfast Telegraph, 19 February 2015.
CPC Director Jane Falkingham is interviewed on BBC Breakfast on a special programme featuring the “How to live to 100 – and enjoy it” exhibition as part of their Living Longer series. BBC 1, 16 January 2016 (broadcast between 8.30 and 9.15am).
CPC Director Jane Falkingham is interviewed about the exhibition. “Good Morning Wales” BBC Radio Wales breakfast show, 2 December 2014.
CPC Research Manager Teresa McGowan is interviewed about the exhibition in a feature on ageing. “Pete Morgan at Breakfast” BBC West Midlands Radio, 25 November 2014.
Millennium Point explores living beyond a century. www.visitheartofengland.com, 24 November 2014.
How to get to 100. “The Riverside Show”, STV Glasgow, 21 November 2014 (broadcast between 6.30-8pm).
“How to live to 100”. Article in the Association for Education and Ageing magazine, Issue 42, Autumn 2014.
Shaping the landscape. Healthy ageing and population dynamics. Southamptonfshs youtube channel, 27 October 2014.
CPC Director Jane Falkingham discusses the exhibition. BBC Radio Solent, 20 October 2014 (broadcast at 4.50pm).
Southampton scientists launch study after research shows one in three children born will now reach 100. Daily Echo, 15 October 2014.
How do we live to 100 and enjoy it? www.healthcanal.com, 13 October 2014.
How do we live to 100 and enjoy it? www.southampton.ac.uk, 13 October 2014.