RSE Innovator’s Prize for Public Engagement for Senga Robertson-Albertyn

Published on 11 February 2020

Senga Robertson-Albertyn received the prestigious RSE Innovators Prize for Public Engagement last week at the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Winter Lecture at Wallace High School in Stirling.

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Senga is from the Division of Plant Sciences based at the James Hutton Institute and she won the award in recognition of her contribution to communicating science in a fun and interactive way. This work was carried out during the course of her PhD studies.

On being awarded the medal, Dr Robertson-Albertyn said, “I see science outreach as being absolutely integral when it comes to research and it is truly an honour to be recognised with the RSE Prize for Public Engagement at this fantastic event. I am incredibly passionate about sharing my love of science with underserved areas and feel that everyone should be nurtured to achieve their goal.”

“There many routes in to STEM careers that can be taken at different times in life by people from all different backgrounds. I hope my outreach work excites people about science and also encourages them that their background does not have to define their future.”

One of the first projects she developed helped teach children and communities about the bacteria that live in our gut. In this ‘Microbe Motels’ project Senga’s new ways of engaging others were so successful that she and colleagues published the work in a peer-reviewed journal.

Senga has already been named the Microbiology Society’s Engaged Researcher of the Year and recently received the inaugural Early Career Researcher of the Year award in the University of Dundee’s Stephen Fry Awards for Excellence in Public Engagement.