Engaging Libraries

West Lothian library staff

In 2020, a new partnership between Heriot-Watt University and West Lothian Council was set up to highlight the importance of listening to the community, and bringing research to those impacted by it.

Heriot-Watt and West Lothian Libraries are part of a suite of partnerships to be awarded funding through the Engaging Libraries Programme, funded by Wellcome, the Carnegie Trust and the Wolfson Foundation.

The initiative, 'Lothian Lugs'  focused on listening to our communities, and began by facilitating a series of opportunities for researchers to listen to local people to find out how they feel about the research being carried out in Universities, how it affects them and what areas they would like to know more about. 

Borrow a Researcher 

Borrow A Researcher is an event series generated from the Engaging Libraries Lothian Lugs project. This was organised in collaboration with West Lothian Libraries and designed to bring events to local West Lothian communities that were specifically tailored to public research interests. 

Following on from that, HW Engage will be continuing the Borrow A Researcher event series. This is designed to share our research across schools, libraries, education centres and many more! It is a programme that effectively allows you to ‘borrow’ a researcher for a session.  

Are you interested in Artificial Intelligence, brain health, body representation, robotics - or any other research areas? Through our Borrow a Researcher programme you can find out more about these fields of research and ask Heriot-Watt University researchers the questions you’ve always wondered about these subjects! 

Previous sessions have featured talks and workshops from Professor Alan Gow, Dr Mary Stewart, Dr Anna Sedda and Myrto Efstathiou – all researchers in our Psychology Department at Heriot-Watt University. We have also hosted sessions with computer scientists Dr Gavin Abercrombie and Angus Addlesee, both of whom explore Artificial Intelligence and conversational assistants, as well as training your pet robot workshops with Dr Mauro Dragone.  

Alongside this, Dr Paul Dalgarno has explored the mysteries of black holes and we’ll also be sharing researchers’ top tops on how to find accurate and reliable information in amongst the endless news articles and digital media. 

The event series will be an ongoing combination of both online and face to face talks, events and workshops. 

If you would be interested in borrowing one of our researchers, or would like to see an event featuring a specific research area, please get in touch with the HW Engage team.

Key information

Heriot-Watt Engage