The Unit has a comprehensive public engagement programme. This includes:
- visits to local schools and other organisations
- mentoring of young scientists
- participation in the Cambridge Science Festival, where we exhibit every year
- our annual Open Day
- involvement in other events for public understanding of science
- engagement with artists and designers on the artistic interpretation of our science
For further information about the activities of the Unit, please contact our Communications Manager, Penny Peck ( ).
On Sunday, 25 March 2018, the MBU participated in the Cambridge Science Festival, Cambridge Biomedical Campus event. Our theme was "Sensational fluorescent fruit flies".
On Friday, 26 January 2018, members of the MBU visited St Mary's Church of England Primary School in Hackney, to showcase the Unit's science using Lego models, games, and three different experiments using leaves and flies.
The event was run as a carousel during timed sessions, with John Walker introducing each session and engaging in well-informed discussions with our very young hosts.
On Thursday, 7 December 2017 two members of the MRC MBU visited the St Ivo Science Conference, where students presented recent scientific research on topics that they had chosen themselves.
The event emulated a scientific conference.
Just as would be required at such an event, the students displayed their posters on poster boards and stood beside them to answer any questions posed by viewers. Two students gave an excellent joint presentation to the guests (parents, judges, peers and tutors).
The Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON) Society held its annual conference on Saturday, 23 September 2017.
Clinicians, scientists and patients met at the Moller Centre and, through a series of presentations and discussion sessions, shared views and information on:
On Saturday, 14 October members of the MRC MBU participated in the Big Biology Day 2017 at Hills Road Sixth Form College.
Scientists explained the Unit's research with hands-on activities. We took our "Find My Mutant Fly" game, along with movies and posters explaining the Unit's research. We also took some fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) and used them to demonstrate how mutations in mitochondria might lead to neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and motor neuron disease.
During the summer of 2017, the MBU hosted two work experience events.
For one week in July, two Year 12 students visited individual research groups. They learnt about equipment and scientific techniques such as pipetting gels for analysis under a microscope. At the end of their visit, each student gave a short presentation about their experience.
In August, a similar programme was followed on a one-day visit by three students in Years 11 and 12.