Loading Events

The Medical Research Council Science Festival

  • This event has passed.

It’s only right that we share our Centenary celebrations with a wide audience. That’s why we’re hooking up with the Science Museum in London to create a weekend festival of MRC science from 15-16 June.

Fun activities and fascinating talks will bring scientists and the public together to discuss the latest MRC research and how it builds on our research legacy from the past 100 years. Nine MRC research teams based in London will be taking part in the festival to create an exciting hands-on experience, suitable for families with children aged eight years and over.

Museum visitors will be able to enter ’Life’ and take their character (pal) on a journey through the years by talking to our scientists and finding out about their amazing research on the brain, viruses and lots more. Visitors will take chances and make choices as they progress through the festival, to create a story for their character of a long and healthy life.

MRC researchers taking part and festival activities include those from:

MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre

Influences – how will the friends and family around your pal affect its health?

Do you remember your first day of school? The first time you got into trouble? Will your pal? Some events in life are stressful. They could alter your body and even affect how your genes function. Why not create DNA and see how social situations may affect it.

MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology

Connections – how is your pal wired up? What chance does it have of developing a neurological condition?

Genes are like an instruction booklet for life. They tell your body how to build and wire itself correctly. But what if these instructions are faulty? The best way to mend something is to find out where it’s broken. Can flies help us find these broken connections and fix them? See a live experiment and find out.

MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow

(DASH – Determinants of young Adult Social well-being and Health)

Strengths – how does your pal spend its time?

Has your pal been around the block? Does it have friends from different backgrounds? What kind of things does it do with its family? Different experiences will help your pal adapt to life’s challenges. Explore our model city and discover the impact of living in different social environments.

Building a healthy model city

MRC Centre for Molecular Bacteriology and Infection

Germs – will antibiotics help your pal feel better?

Oh no! Your pal is running a fever. Will the doctor prescribe antibiotics? Not so fast… If antibiotics are used too often, bacteria build up a resistance and continue to multiply. If your pal has a virus, they won’t work at all. Germs may be small, but they put up a good fight. Put your aim to the test and see if you can target bacteria with antibiotics.

MRC and Asthma UK Centre for Allergic Mechanisms in Asthma

Allergies – does your pal have an allergy? Is there a way to cure it?

Stop. Breathe … and sneeze! Allergies can be exasperating and asthma could affect your pal’s lifestyle. From pollen to peanuts, substances called allergens can cause the body to react in unwanted ways. Find out more by crawling inside a giant nose to discover the allergens that can accumulate there.
Looking for allergens in the giant nose

MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling

Infected – will your pal survive the disease outbreak?

Has your pal washed its hands today? Did someone just cough on it? Vaccinations can stop the spread of illnesses such as the flu. If your pal hasn’t been vaccinated, then it could become infected by others around it. Find out if your pal is infected or protected and take part in the spread of the disease within the festival.

Tracking a virus outbreak

MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health

Risk – will your pal live in the city or the country?

There’s nothing like a breath of fresh air. But how fresh is the air your pal breathes? Life can be ridden with smoky exhaust pipes and nasty chemicals. How will substances from the outside affect your pal’s body inside? Could devices such as a smartphone help your pal avoid unhealthy areas? Why not see the equipment researchers use to test what’s in the air around you.

MRC Centre for Transplantation

Replacement parts – does your pal need a transplant? How can we help it return to a healthy life?

What if one of your pal’s organs stopped working? Does your pal really need both its kidneys? What about all its liver? Luckily, many organs can be replaced. Find out which one by exploring our life size model body with organs. But organ transplants should not be taken lightly; recovery can be tough.

MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing

Highway to health – is it ever too late, or too early, to lead a healthy life? What will your pal do?

So many options, so little time! Will your pal take the stairs or the lifts? Will it snack on apples or brownies? Whatever path your pal takes, it’s always better to understand how decisions will affect its health. Test your grip strength, memory and balance and see where you rank.

The festival at the Science Museum will be followed by the MRC’s Centenary Open Week from 20 – 26 June, during which MRC units and centres across the UK will throw open their doors to the public to give them a taste of some of the awe-inspiring science that goes on in our research establishments. Find out about open days near you on our Centenary website at: www.centenary.mrc.ac.uk/open_days


June 15, 2013
June 16, 2013


Science Museum, South Kensington
Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2DD United Kingdom
+ Google Map


The Medical Research Council

Cookies on IBME website

Our website uses cookies to provide us with important information about visitors. By continuing to browse the site we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies set by IBME.