University takes science out of the laboratory and into the city
Scientists from the University of York are taking their research out of the laboratory and into York city centre as part of the York Festival of Ideas.
York residents and visitors are invited to visit a marquee in St Sampson’s Square, Parliament Street, on Friday, 22 June, to engage with displays – including a giant nose and a plastic leg with maggots - exploring the treatment and prevention of chronic diseases and disorders that affect people of all ages.
The drop-in event from 10am to 4pm provides an opportunity to talk face-to-face with scientists and others to gain an understanding of the various dimensions of chronic diseases and disorders – scientifically and historically.
The York Festival of Ideas runs from 14 to 30 June, providing a host of stimulating and interactive experiences for people of all ages. Over 50 events are on offer, featuring world-class speakers, exhibitions and performances.
The ‘Science out of the Lab’ event is supported by the University’s new Centre for Chronic Diseases and Disorders (C2D2), which has been set up with funding by the Wellcome Trust to co-ordinate and maximise the University’s wide-ranging research in the key interdisciplinary field of chronic health and disability.
Stands, by organisations including the University of York, York Minster and the British Immunology Society, will cover topics ranging from DNA molecule building, the Baby-Born and Bred in Yorkshire health project, wounds, and the role of the nose in immunology.
Professor Paul Kaye, Acting Director of the University’s Centre for Chronic Diseases and Disorders, said: “This promises to be a fascinating, entertaining and informative event. It will demonstrate the wide ranging work undertaken throughout the University, from developing new drugs and therapies to informing UK health policy and health services provision. Through the generous support of the Wellcome Trust, we aim to continue to build on our research effort, to improve the lives of the millions of people in the UK and throughout the world suffering from various forms of chronic disease and disability.”
University student volunteers are collecting public perceptions of chronic diseases and disorders at the event through activities such as a Big Brother-style booth in the form of a doctor’s surgery and a ‘thought tree’.
The students’ involvement is part of the University’s Summer Term Challenge 2012. Run in partnership with the University’s Careers Service, this involves small teams of students taking on challenges such as collecting oral accounts for the York 800 celebrations, organising a Storytelling Festival and running events for the York Festival of Ideas.
More than 160 undergraduate students from the Departments of Education and English and Related Literature are currently working with local heritage, cultural and education organisations on 19 different projects. As well as demonstrating their commitment to the local community, the student volunteers are gaining valuable work experience to enhance their future career prospects.