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West Lothian Council launches ‘Borrow a Researcher’ programme


An exciting programme of events is aiming to help West Lothian residents with expert advice on big topics such as health and wellbeing, or technology.

West Lothian Council Libraries and Heriot-Watt University have teamed up to put on an exciting programme of events called Borrow a Researcher, where university staff will help answer questions on issues that people can find overwhelming.

Events will take place throughout September and October, and are specifically tailored to public interests. Events will explore subjects such as brain health, body representation, social interaction, robotics, artificial intelligence and many more.

Heriot-Watt University researchers will visit various library locations to share their work through talks and interactive activities.

Councillor Cathy Muldoon, vice-chair of the culture and leisure policy development and scrutiny panel, said: “We often need to make decisions that affect our health and wellbeing, get to grips with new technology, or navigate the latest information.

“That can sometimes be overwhelming and that’s where our Borrow a Researcher sessions can help.

“Across a range of activities, you’ll have the chance to ‘borrow’ the expertise of a researcher to help you explore the latest research that affects all our lives.

“It’s an ideal chance to put your questions to them, to ensure the research they do addresses the things most important to you, so I hope as many West Lothian residents as possible engage with this fascinating project.”

Professor Alan J. Gow added: “Heriot-Watt University is delighted to be taking our partnership with West Lothian Libraries to this next stage of delivering an exciting and informative ‘Borrow a Researcher’ programme of events.

“The events will open the doors for local communities to hear about and be involved in research, and we are keen that the programme is very much led by the needs of our neighbouring communities.

“We look forward to developing this collaboration further, because as well as the public learning more about our research, our researchers will also be learning from you.”

As part of the Carnegie UK Trust Engaging Libraries programme, over the past 18 months West Lothian Council’s libraries team and Heriot-Watt University have been working together on the ‘Lothian Lugs’ project.

Funded by Carnegie UK Trust, Wellcome Trust and the Wolfson Foundation, the project involves listening and talking to communities in West Lothian, with the aim of exploring how we can share cutting edge research with local communities, and how communities can help shape future research.

Community focus groups were held across West Lothian, which led to some inspiring conversations about research and universities – What is research? What do universities do? How can we find out more? Many interesting themes and topics emerged, allowing the team to shape the exciting ‘Borrow a Researcher’ programme.

There will also be online events as part of Explorathon, a Scotland wide celebration of research, so you can tune it at home and find out about research taking place in universities across Scotland and beyond.

For more information on the events, please visit https://www.westlothian.gov.uk/Lothian-Lugs. You can also pick up a programme or book an event at any West Lothian library, or via email to [email protected]

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