The University of Sydney has launched a community engagement campaign asking Sydneysiders 'What matters' most to them in an effort to promote the institution's role in research.
From tomorrow suits, strollers, tourists and shoppers that pass through Martin Place, World Square and Chatswood will be greeted by interactive visual display sites that will enable them to vote on topics of importance to them.
The event ties into the 'What matters' digital campaign which launched in April and brings together University of Sydney academics and the global community to talk about various issues.
Through a dedicated microsite – http://Sydney.edu.au/what-matters some of the University’s top researchers and graduates discuss how their research has made a difference in the world. Members of the public are invited to indicate whether issues highlighted on the site matter to them and find out more about these issues through video interviews and online forums with specialist ‘leading light’ academics or graduates..
So far topics on sustainability have proved to matter most to those who cast their vote, with the top two topics being ‘solving climate change for future generations’ and ‘reducing our environmental footprint’ followed by ‘preventing human rights abuses’.
The World Square and Chatswood displays will enable people to engage with five topics and cast a vote while the Martin Place display will poll two different topics daily. Topics will include those bound to touch a nerve with Sydneysiders such as traffic congestion and housing affordability, as well as more general themes such as refugee rights, marriage equality, support for the arts and mental health care.The World Square and Chatswood displays will be active for a period of two weeks, until August 27, the Martin Square display will be live for one week.
University vice-chancellor Dr Michael Spence said: "The idea of this campaign is to give people who don't venture onto our campuses or know much about our work a better idea of what we do and how it impacts on Australia and the global community.
"Although teaching students is a fundamental role of the University, our research is just as important and touches the lives of most Australians."