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Making the invisible, visible: engaging the public with air pollution

Air pollution is a serious threat to the health of humans and ecosystems, yet is largely invisible and so out of the public consciousness.

Active project


Project contact

Sarah West /

Project team

Steve Cinderby

Senior Research Fellow

SEI York

Sarah West

Centre Director

SEI York

Rachel Pateman


SEI York

This project will help to address this by delivering a series of public engagement events around air pollution in three UK cities: Leeds, Sheffield and York. These will provide an opportunity for dialogue between the public, researchers, voluntary organisations, council officials, and campaigning organisations about air pollution.

A series of activities will include a citizen science project involving a personal monitoring campaign, a public meeting bringing together multiple stakeholders, and a field visit to an air pollution garden. These events aim to provide a space to inform people about the issues (both in general and in their local area) and to discuss knowledge gaps and data requirements from all parties. These events will be delivered by an interdisciplinary team which brings together air pollution researchers (Universities of Leeds and Sheffield), citizen science researchers (University of York), community engagement specialists (TCV) and ten air pollution PhD students and early career researchers (ECRs) who will be recruited as part of the project. The PhD and ECRs will attend a 3 day residential training course led by TCV in methods for public engagement.

They will then undertake five days of placement with TCV in order to gain first-hand experience of delivering public engagement activities with a range of audiences (including school groups and community organisations). During the placement, and with support from academic partners, the PhD and ECRs will work in pairs to deliver a total of five public engagement activities of their choosing.


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