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Celebrating 100 years

Cartoon of Henry Dale, Almroth Wright and Harriette Chick from a book that will accompany the MRC centenary installation (Copyright: Lindsay McBirnie, commissioned by the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre)

Cartoon of Henry Dale, Almroth Wright and Harriette Chick from a book that will accompany the MRC centenary installation (Copyright: Lindsay McBirnie, commissioned by the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre*)

It’s not often that you get to celebrate a 100th birthday, but the MRC will be doing just that in 2013. MRC Regional Communications Manager Jude Eades gives us the lowdown on the activities and events that we’ll be running in 2013 to showcase the work of the MRC.

Next year we’ll be celebrating a hundred years of life-changing discoveries and taking time to reflect on our achievements in medical research, acknowledging those who have supported us along the way and looking forward to what medical research will deliver in the future.

Throughout 2013 we’ll be running a series events to showcase our research successes and collaborations. You can experience life in a working laboratory, take part in experiments online, explore how past MRC discoveries have changed the way we live today, and most importantly, meet the scientists who make it all happen. There’ll certainly be something for everyone – here’s a taster of what’s in store.

Science Museum

It’s only right that we share our celebrations with the widest possible audience. That’s why we’re hooking up with the Science Museum in London to create several activities that will bring scientists and the public together to talk about medical research of the past, present and future. More details of all the events we’ve got planned will be available in the special centenary edition of Network, published in January 2013.

MRC centenary installation

How does a medical research laboratory of 1913 compare with the high-tech, computer-driven facilities we work in today? What might a lab of the future look like? Find out at a unique installation at Imperial College London in April 2013, where the foyer will become a live lab complex. Explore your thoughts on the future of medical research alongside luminaries such as Sir Melvyn Bragg and Lord Robert Winston. The installation is co-curated by the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre.

Medical research live

It’s not all test tubes and lab coats at the MRC. Many of our discoveries are based on observation, data collection and analysis. Why not contribute by taking part in one of our live online experiments? You’ll be able to access all our live experiments via the centenary section of the MRC website.

MRC research establishments will open their doors during MRC open week

MRC research establishments will open their doors during MRC open week

The great British sleep survey: Are you a lark or an owl? That is the question which underpins the BBC Lab UK Great British Sleep Survey, which aims to discover if there’s a relationship between sleep and age, lifestyle and other factors that affect our sleep patterns.

The great worm hunt: Contribute to a neuroscience study on brain circuitry by playing a video game based on how nematode worms lay their eggs. The Great Worm Hunt is part of a public/science collaboration involving scientists at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and the University of Oxford’s Galaxy Zoo team, which has recruited 250,000 members of the public to help classify galaxy images from the Hubble telescope.

A century of amplified music: how does leisure noise affect hearing? We already know that repetitive exposure to loud music can damage hearing, but the question is how loud and for how long? This interactive project, led by the MRC Institute of Hearing Research, aims to answer that question.

Science opens doors

Why not grab an invitation to one of our MRC open week events in June? More than 40 of our world-class research institutes, units and centres will be opening their doors to the public for one week only, providing lab tours and talks about their research as well as hands-on activities and entertainment for all the family. Alternatively, look out for MRC centenary events, school visits and themed festivals near you. Details will be on the centenary section of our website in spring 2013.

The new MRC LMB building (Copyright: MRC LMB Visual Aids)

The new MRC LMB building (Copyright: MRC LMB Visual Aids)

Opening of the new MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge

Look out for coverage of the opening of the new MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) building in Cambridge. Three years in the building, at a cost of more than £200m, this stunning new state-of-the-art research facility officially opens its doors in early summer 2013. The LMB has a worldwide reputation for excellent science: its scientists have founded several very successful biotechnology start-up companies and continue to work on translational research to develop new methods for diagnosing and treating diseases. See the LMB’s website for more information on the new building.

MRC achievements timeline

The MRC has made thousands of medical discoveries over the past 100 years and to highlight some of the very best we’re creating a special web-based timeline. The MRC Achievements Timeline will take you through a century of life-changing discoveries and, via photographs, interviews and commentaries, showing how our research has had a lasting influence on healthcare and wellbeing in the UK and globally, right up to the present day.

A version of this article also appears in the Autumn 2012 edition of Network magazine.

*The image used in this article has not been released under our Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence.

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