Engagement Highlights 2017!Wow! Where did this year go? It seems only yesterday that I was reflecting on our successes and achievements in 2016! 2017 has not disappointed, this year over 120 students, post-doctoral researchers, research group leaders, scientific facility staff, technical staff and research-support staff have been involved in activities with various public groups.
This year our favourite and well established events such as School’s Day, activities at the Cambridge Science Festival, challenge projects with the Cambridge Academy of Science and Technology and the Sophianum School, and STEM Insights, our teacher placement week, formed a strong foundation for new ideas and events. Our new work with teachers included ‘teacher-only projects’ during School’s Day and through a collaboration with the Sanger Institute a series of Bioscience LITE evening events covering the most cutting-edge research and technology. Our school’s programme has truly flourished, our Imaging Facility along with researchers in the signalling and epigenetics programmes have welcomed students to the Institute for Imaging workshops, our Royal Society Partnership Grant projects have finished with some wonderful work from the students involved at Colchester and Hitchin Girls Schools. And, our technical services team have developed a new style tour for students which allows them to get behind the scenes of our research.
We’ve welcomed and visited a number of community groups this year, our scientists and facility staff have been discussing their latest research and explaining how the equipment in the labs allows our researchers to explore and understand the as yet unknown. Additionally, ‘Chromos’ the art-music-science collaborative project was developed even further, providing people the opportunity to climb inside our DNA through virtual reality headsets. This work was showcased at Cambridge Science Festival, the Science Museum Lates in London and is now a semi-permanent exhibit at the ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany until August 2018.
Finally, we were all incredibly proud to have our work with the Sophianum School recognised with an Understanding Animal Research Openness Award - congratulations to all those involved!
We’ve also been successful in our applications to the Royal Society and the European Commission. This has allowed us to begin to develop an interactive new exhibit ‘Race Against the Ageing Clock’ which will be showcased at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition in July. And, with funding from the EC we have begun a new 4-year project with our colleagues across Europe which will provide us with new opportunities and methods to engage people in the research at the Babraham Institute, making the Institute even more open and accessible.
I am incredibly lucky to work with such talented and creative people and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved in engagement at the Institute in 2017 and to acknowledge the incredible support that the Impact Team have provided in this busy year. I look forward to another productive and exciting year ahead.
25 December, 2017