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9 November 2021 - 12 November 2021
Hands On! Conference 2021: Hands On – into the future
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Open until 12 November 2021

Johanna Pirker


Dr Johanna Pirker is a computer scientist focusing on game development, research, and education and an active and strong voice of the local indie dev community. She has lengthy experience in designing, developing, and evaluating games and VR experiences and believes in them as tools to support learning, collaboration, and solving real problems. Johanna has started in the industry as QA tester at EA and still consults studios in the field of games user research. In 2011/12 she started researching and developing VR experiences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At the moment she is Ass. Prof. for game development at TU Graz and researches games with a focus on AI, HCI, data analysis, and VR technologies. Johanna was listed on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list of science professionals.

At Hands On! Conference 2021, Johanna Pirker takes a closer look at the entertainment industry, focusing on the most successful entertainment medium of all time: video games.

Richard Sandell and Ceciel Brouwer

Photo©Hayley Evans

Richard Sandell is Professor in the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester and co-director of the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG). His research and practice, carried out in collaboration with museums, galleries and heritage organisations, explores the potential that museums might play in supporting human rights, social justice and equality. Recent collaborations include the award-winning Prejudice and Pride LGBTQ heritage programme, 2017-19, with the National Trust, a new permanent gallery – Being Human – at the Wellcome Collection, that explored ethically informed approaches to portraying disability and HumanKind, a ground breaking collaboration (2018-2021) with the National Trust that explores the potential for culture to tackle social isolation and loneliness. His most recent books include - Museums, Moralities and Human Rights (2017) and Museum Activism (with Robert R. Janes) (2019), winner of the Canadian Museums Association’s award for Outstanding Achievement for Research in the Cultural Heritage Sector and nominee in The Best in Heritage Awards 2021.

Photo©Andrew Tomlinson

Ceciel Brouwer is a postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries, at the School of Museum Studies in the University of Leicester. She obtained an ESRC Fellowship in 2020 and was previously Research Associate in the Research Centre, during which she contributed to collaborations with the National Trust and the Museum of London. Since completing her doctoral training programme, for which she was funded by the AHRC’s Midlands4Cities consortium and collaborated with Tate Modern and the International Slavery Museum, Brouwer has focused on museum ethics, censorship and children’s rights, areas in which she also delivers teaching. She is currently publishing a monograph on children’s representation in museums and developing an edited volume on Children’s Museology co-authored by Monica Patterson (Carleton University).

At Hands On! Conference 2021,  Ceciel Brouwer and Richard Sandell make the case for a new discourse, a critical Children’s Museology that intersects with the recent transformations in museum activism and social agency. 

Elizabeth Rasekoala

Photo©Elizabeth Rasekoala

Dr Elizabeth Rasekoala is currently the President of African Gong – the Pan-African Network for the Popularization of Science & Technology and Science Communication, which aims to advance the Public Learning and Understanding of Science (PLUS), scientific outreach/public engagement and scientific literacy on the African continent (www.africangong.org). Dr Rasekoala, with a professional background in Chemical Engineering and industry internationally, has championed, advocated, researched, presented and written widely on public innovation and transformative development through advancing diversity, socio-cultural inclusion and gender equality issues in science, communication and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, skills and entrepreneurship development. She has provided extensive advisory and consultancy expertise to various governments, institutions and multilateral international organisations over the past 20 years, including the European Commission, the UN Commission on Human Rights, the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), UNESCO, the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Development Bank (AfDB). Dr Rasekoala has recently been honoured by the Natural Science Museum of Barcelona with the 2019 NAT AWARD for her longstanding work on advancing inclusion, diversity and equity in science communication globally.

At Hands On! Conference 2021,  Elizabeth Rasekoala will deliver the keynote speech “Future-proofing today’s children and youth to become scientifically engaged future adults”.



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