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Public engagement

This category contains 8 posts

Multiple Sclerosis – Action and Reaction

Brain Diaries is an exhibition and series of events organised by the Oxford Museum of Natural History in partnership with Oxford Neuroscience. The aim is to show the public how the latest neuroscientific research is transforming what we understand about our brain – from birth to the end of life.  In order to celebrate the … Continue reading

The science behind the headlines

The Museum of Natural History in Oxford runs many activities to try and engage the public with scientific research, including their regular ‘Super Science Saturdays’ events. Last autumn, as part of a special themed Super Science Saturday called ‘Behind The Headlines’, a team of scientists from Roger Patient’s lab in the MRC Molecular Haematology Unit … Continue reading

Science in the supermarket (and other unusual places)

You might reasonably expect to be accosted by a double-glazing salesperson or someone shaking a bucket for charity as you go about your weekly shop – but you’d probably be pretty surprised if someone intercepted you on your way out and asked if you know what your immune system does. That’s exactly what a team … Continue reading

Can our own immune system beat cancer?

The MRC’s annual science writing competition, the Max Perutz Science Writing Prize, challenges MRC-funded PhD students to communicate the importance of their research to a non-scientifically trained audience in 800 words or less. This year, several students from the WIMM submitted excellent entries to the competition, including Tomek Dobrzycki (whose entry was published on the blog last … Continue reading

Scientists, solar eclipses, and smartphones

‘Interdisciplinary collaboration’ is a phrase familiar to many scientists. It is tied into funding applications, policy decisions, and teaching. But sometimes, it is the wonder of science and science alone that brings people from all different walks of life together, and that’s what happened on Friday March 20th when, briefly, the moon eclipsed the sun … Continue reading

A year in the life of a research institute: the WIMM blog celebrates its first birthday

Just over a year ago, the WIMM Blog first appeared on the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine’s webpage, tentatively re-posting an article that had originally been written for the MRC blog Insight. Today, the blog is a fully-fledged interactive site, and has had over two and half thousand hits in the last four months alone. … Continue reading

Never work with children AND animals (unless they’re kittens)

Two years ago, Dr. Kathryn Robson, a senior scientist at the WIMM, ran a five-week course on Life Sciences for 10-11 year olds at a primary school in Abingdon. Using the pedigree cats that she breeds, Dr. Robson introduced the concept of genetic inheritance and a complex biological phenomenon known as X-inactivation to a very young audience. … Continue reading

I’m a scientist…get me out of here!

Who would actively volunteer to subject themselves to a barrage of quick-fire questions about their job from young, relentlessly inquisitive teenagers? Dr. Gemma Swiers, a postdoctoral research scientist at the WIMM, rises to the occasion and takes up the challenge as part of an online public engagement initiative supported by the Wellcome Trust. From stem cells to … Continue reading

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