14:30-15:00 #Bucket Loads of Health – Water, Science, Engagement and Ethics

Presenter: Dr Gillian Black
Presenter: Ms Jessica Drewett

Dr Gillian Black

Dr Gill Black began her career as an infectious diseases researcher in 1993. Her experience as a field-based health scientist in Kenya, Brazil, Malawi and South Africa, and extensive interactions with research participants in each of these contexts, catalysed Gill’s transition to the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation (SLF) in 2010. SLF is a non-profit think tank in Cape Town which specializes in community engagement and social science research. In her capacity as director at SLF, Gill works to engage with people living in townships and informal settings about the public health concerns and health-related research activities that most affect their lives. Gill has developed a core interest in the use of participatory visual methods (PVM) as platforms for action research to foster community mobilization and transform health practice. Over the past 8 years she has gained extensive experience in a wide range of PVM including digital storytelling, applied theatre, participatory photography and collaborative film-making. She has developed innovative approaches to working with body mapping and hand mapping as platforms for knowledge exchange and co-learning. Gill received her qualifications and biomedical training at the Universities of Glasgow, Oxford, Cambridge, London and Stellenbosch. She has lived and worked in Cape Town since 2002.

Ms Jessica Drewett

Jess Drewett completed her undergraduate and honours studies at Rhodes University in the areas of Geography and Zoology. Her geography honours research focused on rainfall variability in the Tsitsa catchment, Eastern Cape. Jess moved to Cape Town in 2016, where she studied at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Her masters research focused on exploring the food security of university students attending UCT. Through the NRF-DST internship programme, Jess joined the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation (SLF) in 2018. SLF is a non-profit think tank in Cape Town which specializes in community engagement and social science research. Her main role at SLF is as project manager for the Bucket Loads of Health (BLH) public engagement in science project.

What does it mean to ethically conduct community based scientific research?

How can we create stronger links between researchers and communities in research settings?

These are some of the questions we will explore with you in our #BucketLoadsofHealth (BLH) science talk! BLH is a public engagement project focusing on the co-creation of knowledge between community members and scientists in the area of water and health. Our scientific partners in BLH are a team of water microbiologists from Stellenbosch University who are conducting research on sustainable rainwater harvesting and treatment systems to create alternative water sources. We have brought these researchers together with residents of Enkanini informal settlement (Stellenbosch) and the township of Delft (Cape Town) to explore the ethics of science practice in under-resourced communities. Find out how participatory visual methods (PVM) such as body mapping, drama and digital storytelling create platforms for engagement between scientists and community members, distil community priorities for change and enable a better understanding of what is needed to improve the quality of life.Join us in exploring the science/society interface, through sound, artworks, and more! We hope to ignite exciting debate around the important issues of ethics and practice in community based scientific research.