I’m Steve Cross. I’m a public engagement and communication consultant, trainer and strategist.
I’m a Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow, an Honorary Fellow of the British Science Association, chair of the Royal Society of Biology’s Science Communication Awards, a previous winner of the Josh Award, a chair of two judging panels for the National Public Engagement Awards and an advisor to public engagement projects across Europe.
For seven years I was Head of Public Engagement at UCL, and I’ve also worked for Wellcome Collection, The Science Museum and the Centre for Life. I was a member of the EPSRC‘s Strategic Advisory Team for Public Engagement.
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT TRAINING
I offer training in all aspects of public engagement, with a particular strength in training researchers of all kinds. Specific training courses I offer include:
Basics of public engagement
Communication skills and public speaking courses
Comedy for engagement (through my CLEVERmakeFUNNY project)
Public project development, including festival projects
Creativity skills and problem-solving
Social media for engagement
I work with clients to create bespoke training that suits the needs of their staff or students, drawing on courses, exercises and ideas developed over many years of training. I tailor training to the needs of the participants, recognising for example that public engagement in the arts is very different to the sciences.
In 2016 I ran the Medical Research Council’s national programme of public engagement training, and became the Royal Society’s training partner for its Introduction to Public Engagement courses for elite researchers.
Previous clients include:
UCL, The Natural History Museum, Nesta, Arts Council England, the Medical Research Council, the University of Southampton, Queen Mary University of London, the University of Central Lancashire, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the University of Nottingham, the University of Manchester, Birkbeck University of London, King’s College London, Trinity College Dublin, Science Polish Perspectives and Cumberland Lodge.
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT CONSULTANCY
I help universities, museums and research-based organisations develop strategies to support and manage their public engagement, focussing on culture change to embed engagement across the institution. In my previous role at UCL I developed the public engagement strategy of one of the world’s best research universities, and created strategies for the Francis Crick Institute and the Farr Institute London.
I work with researchers, cultural organisations and performers to help them develop public projects and secure funding, as well as joining steering groups, funding committees and judging panels. In 2016 I was the chair of the judges of two of the six categories of the National Public Engagement Awards.
Previous clients include:
Korean Federation for the advancement of Science and Creativity, King’s College London, The Longitude Prize, Goldsmith’s University of London, Birkbeck University of London, the University of Utrecht, Royal Astronomical Society, National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement and the Royal Society of Biology.
EXECUTIVE EDUCATION AND SKILLS TRAINING
As part of my CLEVERmakeFUNNY project I help professionals of all kind use comedy to improve their communication skills, build confidence and find new solutions to the challenges of the workplace. I’ve worked with lawyers, engineers, architects, historians, scientists, programmers and many more communities to let out the humour hidden in their work and improve how they do they jobs. Read a review of Law Smash, where I make lawyers funny in aid of charity, here.
I also help universities to establish branches of Bright Club, so that they can build a culture of making research funny to share it more widely. I’ve helped the universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Edinburgh, Glasgow and many more in the past. Bright Club is spreading across the EU, with regular programmes in Dublin and Brussels and more to come.
You can book me to run your training courses, help you develop your organisation, or just for a chat at steve [AT] drstevecross.com or on Twitter at @steve_x
You’ll can read about what it’s like to get me involved in your training or projects from real clients here.
I’m a geeky stand-up comedian, gigging all over the world. I also act as comedian-in-residence to research projects. That website is here.
I host and run Science Showoff, History Showoff, Books Showoff, Engineering Showoff and the rest of the family of chaotic cabarets. That website is here.