It has been a full year since Wellcome-Warwick QBP appointed Dr Kay Doncom as Public Engagement Officer, and what a great year it has been. Not only has the appointment of the position shown how important public engagement has become, but it's showing that Warwick is serious about its commitment to ensuring we lead the way in world-class public engagement.
Below is a review of projects that the QBP have been involved in...
(Kay is currently on maternity leave until September, and is being covered by recent PhD graduate Matt Teft)
Cellie Gallery: Biology under the microscope
Researchers at the University of Warwick were invited to enter the Cellfie Gallery photography competition to truly highlight the beauty that can sometimes be hidden within our own research. The photographs were mounted at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire where the public were invited to vote on them.
The winning image was provided by Alex Zwetsloot (left) who showed a beautiful image highlighitng the dynamic skeletons that cells build.
The winning image, and other entries, are currently being displayed on the rear wall of the Medical School Café.
World TB Day
On Saturday the 24th March and Tuesday the 27th March, researchers from the Fullam group held events at the Herbert Art Gallery and Central Library in Coventry to raise awareness of tuberculosis disease for World TB day.
The event centred around a main stand with information posters about the history of tuberculosis, key facts and figures and the research carried out by the group. Members of the public also experienced hands on use of a microscope to visualise bacteria and bacterial plates were used to demonstrate the importance of antibiotic resistance.
People also engaged interactively with a tablet based microbiology game and information leaflets designed by our group were handed out to passers by to promote our work at Warwick and to show that tuberculosis is still a global health problem. We were able to engage with a range of different ages and demographics and the results of our questionnaire highlighted the current public understanding of the disease and enabled us to correctly inform the public about tuberculosis.
How to Build a Human - Public Science Evening
On 1st May the QBP held its first Public Science Evening, with the theme being 'How to Build a Human'
The evening was kick started with a talk by Prof. Johnathan Millar who spoke about the magic of cells, followed by Dr Stephen Royle who then talked about what can go wrong with cell division and how this can lead to cancer. Our guests were then treated to tours of the lab and demonstrations on our microscopes, with opportunities to engage directly with the researchers.
The talks were then concluded by Prof. Karuna Sampath who explained why fish are used to investigate human diseases, followed by Dr Kristen Panfillo who detailed how cells turn into tissues.The evening was drawn to a close by a great question and answer session which was lead by Prof. Mohan Balasubramnian.
Invisible Cities was a highly praised round table event which allowed the public to engage with researchers from a number of different fields.
Each of the speakers gave a 4-minute presentation which was followed by discussions in smaller groups. The speakers then moved between tables every 15 minutes to keep the conversations fresh and offer a different perspective.
New Scientist LIVE!
Wellcome-Warwick QBP were thrilled to be part of the annual New Scientist LIVE! which attracted over 22,000 people from across the UK. As well as being there to represent the department using 3D printing to create a giant microtubule and comparing the speed of kinesin with Usain Bolt, we were able to grant a seed fund application that brought genetic editing to life through the use of Virtual Reality with Dr Corrine Hanlon.
Living a Good Life in Older Age: Literary, Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives
Dr Elizabeth Barry was a successful applicant to the QBP seed fund, which contributed to this two day event which explored the a number of unique perspectives around 'successful' and 'active' aging. The event was a great success and brought some very talented speakers and leading academics to The University of Warwick.