Meet the Fellow: Q&A with Professor Roger Kneebone
Professor Roger Kneebone performs live simulations of surgery for the public. He is Professor of Surgical Education at Imperial College London and leads an interdisciplinery team creating unique public engagement events which explore surgery as both a science and an art. He has recently been awarded a Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellowship, so I asked what the fellowship means to him and how he plans to make the most of it.
Congratulations on being awarded an Engagement Fellowship. Why did you decide to apply?
What an opportunity! I realised that public engagement had become a major part of my work. I was also becoming interested in the scholarship of public engagement and I wanted to have the freedom to explore the field more broadly, beyond my own projects.
How will the fellowship help you pursue that interest?
It gives me time to focus on public engagement, time to think, time to experiment and try things out. It also makes me a part of the Wellcome Trust with all the opportunities and all the extraordinary connections that that provides.
Why are those ‘extraordinary connections’ important?
Much of the public engagement work that I do is about opening up the closed world of surgery to the public. I use dialogues and discussions to create and explore new connections. I’d like to talk more about the implications of this work with people who have the power to bring about change and this fellowship will make it much easier to get in touch with new people – people who can really make a difference.
What are your plans for the next two years?
I’m not entirely sure, I’ve got a broad idea of course, but exactly how it will work out is going to evolve over the course of the fellowship – and that’s exciting too.
What does the fellowship mean to you personally?
I now have the opportunity to move my own skills, and my public engagement work, to a completely new level – which would have been completely impossible without the fellowship. It’s unbelievably exciting!
Want to hear more about Professor Kneebone’s work? We’ll be posting a longer piece about his public engagement activities soon.
Erinma Ochu was also awarded a Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellowship last month. Nancy Wilkinson spoke to her about citizen science and her plans for the future. Find the interview here.