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'Superbugs': raising public awareness of antimicrobial resistance through a pop-up science shop

Tyrrell, Jonathan M., Conlon, Christie S., Aboklaish, Ali F., Hatch, Sarah, Smith, Carl, Mathias, Jordan, Thomson, Kathryn and Eberl, Matthias ORCID: 2022. 'Superbugs': raising public awareness of antimicrobial resistance through a pop-up science shop. Research for All 6 (1) , pp. 1-21. 10.14324/RFA.06.1.06

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‘Superbugs: A Pop-up Science Shop’ was a public engagement event in the school summer holidays of 2019, organised by members of Cardiff University’s School of Medicine. We transformed an empty retail unit in the centre of Wales’s largest shopping centre into an interactive and immersive microbiology experience. We facilitated two-way dialogue to impart positive impact on the awareness of antibiotic resistance, while concurrently evaluating the efficacy of an engagement strategy focused on the utilisation of public spaces to attract public demographics diverse to those who would normally engage with conventional science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) outreach. Over the course of 14 days, we welcomed 6,566 visitors, with 67 per cent attending as part of the natural footfall of the shopping centre. We created 1,626 young Antibiotic Resistance Champions, located in over two hundred schools, across many of the most deprived areas in Wales. We imparted a positive impact to our stakeholders, with a significant increase in the knowledge and understanding of the subject of antimicrobial resistance (AMR); 91.7 per cent indicated that they had a better understanding after the event. In this article, we discuss the evolution of ‘Superbugs’ from concept, planning and design, to the logistics of delivering an engagement event of this scale. We focus in particular on the learning outcomes of the project, and on how this will shape the future of our ‘Superbugs’ project, and engagement events beyond.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Additional Information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY) 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original authors and source are credited
Publisher: UCL Press
ISSN: 2399-8121
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 February 2022
Date of Acceptance: 7 September 2021
Last Modified: 08 May 2023 19:12

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