Trinity professor Anna Davies today won the European Research Council’s (ERC) Public Engagement with Research Award in the social media and online category.
Davies won the award for her work on ShareCity, an ERC project which aims to examine the practices of city-based food sharing economies.
In a press statement, the ERC said her work had “visibly enriched” ShareCity’s research, “and was particularly important when crowdsourcing data for the first publicly accessible and searchable empirical database about food sharing activities within cities”.
“Additionally, what really stood out was the creation of the food-sharing database with public engagement all the way from the design to its implementation.”
The project involved developing an online social media engagement strategy through an interactive website and blog, enabling ShareCity to crowdsource experiences and analyse the blog’s findings.
In a press statement, Mariya Gabriel, European commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth, said: “Excellent research demands excellent engagement with the public. This is especially important nowadays when science must often compete with misinformation.”
“We need the strong storytellers and creative communicators out there”, she added. “I’m glad that many EU-funded researchers have gone the extra mile to communicate their amazing discoveries and interact with the public. I hope more scientist and scholars will be inspired and follow in their footsteps.”
Davies, who specialises in researching the socio-political and spatial aspects of climate change policy, is currently the director of the Environmental Governance Research Group in Trinity, and sits on the steering committee for the Trinity Centre for Future Cities.
She also chairs the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) Future Earth Ireland expert group, and serves as a member of the RIA Geographical and Geosciences Committee and The Planning and Environment Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society.
Davies is the secretary of the European Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production, and advises the Irish government on environmental policy as a member of the National Climate Change Council.