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Imagining the future

Pupils at Exton Primary School, Rutland, playing the Patient Game (Copyright: Brona McVittie)

Pupils at Exton Primary School, Rutland, playing the Patient Game (Copyright: Brona McVittie)

Brona McVittie, Head of Public Engagement at the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, is on a mission to highlight the work of the MRC as we approach our 100th year. Here she tells us about a planned centenary installation and the schools competition— complete with comic book— that will feed into it.

The MRC will be 100 years old next year, and as part of the celebrations I’m curating a large-scale interactive public installation that will be housed in the foyer of Imperial College London. Our ambition is to juxtapose a century-old lab against a contemporary dry-lab, inviting the public to engage with future predictions from leaders in science, religion, the arts, politics, sport, philosophy and economics. The aim is to encourage them to share their own ideas about the future of medical science.

To help us inspire the public to think 2113, we’re inviting UK primary school pupils to enter a competition to exhibit their ideas about the future in the installation. I’m currently travelling up and down the country to deliver a series of workshops to 9-11 year-olds, introducing them to key MRC scientists and their important work. To do this I put together a comic book. Heroes of Health 1913 describes the founding of MRC and tells the stories of Sirs Henry Dale and Almroth Wright, and Dame Harriette Chick, whose pioneering research into the nervous system, immunisation and vitamin-deficiency disease, respectively, has changed our lives. Read more

What’s in a work space?


A version of this article was published in the Autumn 2012 issue of Network.

Video: Max Perutz Science Writing Award 2012

The MRC developed the Max Perutz Science Writing Award 15 years ago to encourage MRC-funded scientists to communicate their research to a wider audience.

MRC Fellow Dr Andrew Bastawrous was announced as the winner at this year’s awards ceremony on 12 September 2012. During the event we spoke to the shortlisted writers about their experience of entering this year’s competition. We also spoke to judges, Dr Jenny Rohn and Sir John Savill, who both urged MRC early-career researchers to take part next year.