Researchers from the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science ran a talkaoke session at the Science Museum ‘Lates’ evening in August. A Talkaoke table allows the presenter (sitting in the middle with a microphone) to guide a conversation amongst members of the public, who can just walk up and take-part in the ‘never-ending’ discussion. The main topics for the night were the Olympics & Paralympics, especially focusing on drug use and drug testing amongst competitors, although many other subjects came up for discussion.
Update: The Science Museum have released a video with highlights of the evening:
As the cheers and music from the Olympic closing ceremony were fading, staff from the Environmental Research Group (ERG) and the Public Engagement department at King’s were packing their wellies and tents and heading to the Green Man music festival in Wales to engage festival goers in some of ERG’s latest research.
The Green Man festival has been running for 10 years and prides itself on its family-friendly atmosphere and focus on activites beyond the music stages. This includes the “Einstein’s Garden” – a large area dedicated to science, which is part sponsored by the Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK.
King’s set up a tent alongside stalls from Cardiff, Edinburgh and Bristol Universities and contributed to a wide range of interactive events, talks and workshops. The King’s stall focused on the ongoing Low Emission Zone study ‘EXHALE‘ and engaged festival goers in testing their lung capacity and making breath drawings whilst discussing the research. Andrew Grieve from ERG was joined by Dr Rossa Brugha from Queen Mary University and Bianca Manu from Invisible Dust – partner organisations in the EXHALE project.
Despite the rain, Einstein’s Garden was packed during the day with families and music lovers alike learning about the use of oxygen isotopes in archaeology, wound healing processes, batteries made of microbes, reproductive health, gut bacteria and of course air pollution and lung health.
Engaging the public directly at science and music festivals is part of a new movement by universities with the joint aim of raising the profile of their research and reaching members of the public who may not otherwise be aware of such research. The appearance at this festival is the latest in a rolling programme of outreach events designed to engage and educate the public about air pollution and health.