A Public Engagement with Research Impact Award has been awarded to Wadham Lecturer Dr Cedric Tan.
In recognition of Cedric’s research having a significant impact through his public engagement activities, this is the second year that Cedric has been honoured by the Mathematics, Physical and Life Sciences (MPLS) Division of the University of Oxford.
Based on his research on large carnivores in Asia, Cedric created three interactive public engagement activities to demonstrate how our individual daily actions in the UK could have an impact on the tropical forest elsewhere - an interactive theatre experience, a carnivore conservation game and an escape room. These activities led to increased awareness and positive change in the attitudes and intentions of audiences.
Commenting on his award, Cedric said: “I am very honoured to have received this accolade. It has certainly motivated me to continue ensuring that my research will lead to positive changes in what we can do as individuals. My collaborators Amy Hong, Ran Peleg and Jennifer Spencer have contributed substantially to these public engagement activities.”
Cedric’s interactive theatre on clouded leopards uses a ‘choose-your-own adventure’ format. The audience is asked to make decisions for the actors at various checkpoints, leading to different outcomes. For example, the audience decides whether to convert part of a forest to palm oil in order to save remaining forest. The outcome of the production showed that adults exposed to the ‘oil-palm’ ending were less likely to buy palm oil products in the future.
Cedric was awarded the MPLS Social Impact Award in 2019 for his work to influence the conservation decision to protect the habitat of clouded leopards at Ulu Muda forest.