THURSDAY, 11 NOVEMBER 2021Scientists tend to engage with people through digital and online resources, but this fails to reach the great number of individuals who do not have access to the internet. Digital exclusion is a major issue for older people, disabled people and those with financial barriers. This issue has been particularly evident during lockdown, when there has arguably never been a more important time for society to trust and connect with scientists.
The makers of Letterbox Science believe science should be influenced by and indeed influence, all of society. To do this, the team collaborated with visual artist Ellie Shipman to create accessible postcards themed around the developmental biology interests of the Institute, such as cells, DNA, and mitochondria. The postcards are sent to schools, community centres and networks for older people, where participants are invited to think on the science, then reply to the researchers sharing what it means to them. The responses have been intelligent, deeply touching, and overwhelmingly creative.
Letterbox Science would love to hear from you if you know an organisation that might like to be involved. The project encourages researchers at Cambridge to consider the “public” with a more nuanced understanding and help build trust in scientific research.