Pathological Society Public Engagement
Ignite! Futures Fun Palaces Weekend October 2016
Prof M Ilyas, University of Nottingham
A 2 day “Fun Palaces” event recently took place on the weekend of 1st and 2nd October 2016 at the Nottingham Castle to widen the understanding and appreciation of pathology and the work of pathologists and scientists through engaging young people and their families.
Ignite! is a not-for-profit organisation which aims to promote public understanding of science through public engagement (PE) and community participation. They have extensive experience in PE through working across the disciplines of art and science and have developed highly successful projects such as “Fun Palaces weekend” and “Community Curiosity Labs”.
To coincide with an exhibition of the drawings of Leonardo da Vinci, including some of his anatomical studies, at Nottingham Castle Museum over the summer, Ignite! in partnership with Nottingham Molecular Pathology Node, Bio-city Nottingham, Royal Microscopical Society, University of Nottingham and Empath offered a series of drop-in creative workshops for children and young people and their families where they explored the macroscopic and microscopic world of human anatomy, physiology and pathology.
The weekend of 1st and 2nd October was the penultimate weekend of the Leonardo da Vinci drawings exhibition at the Castle Museum and coincided with the “Fun Palaces weekend”. The joining of these programmes offered a unique opportunity to encourage children and young people to appreciate the precision engineering of the human body as well as raising awareness of disease pathology its relationship to human conditions .
In the gallery of drawings (at the Castle Museum) and with other examples of Leonardo’s explorations of the human anatomy, there was a series of creative “work stations” and under the supervision and guidance of students from the departments of Pathology, Life Sciences ,Microbiology and Respiratory Medicine at University of Nottingham, children and young people were invited to observe the world of pathology and biology through the microscope -interpret their observations in drawings and art works of their own and get involved in making DNA bracelets and sweets!
The event was well attended with positive feedback received from the public.