Science in Norwich Day 2014

Science in Norwich Day 1st June

The glorious weather on the 5th Science in Norwich Day didn’t deter visitors coming to the Forum where the most heard word of the day was WOW, followed by I didn’t know that! Some of the 2500 scientists in Norwich were represented on a wide range of stands where people could make their hair stand on end with Mad Science; eat leafcutter ants with UEA; take apart a model gut and find out about a burgers travel through the gut with the Institute of Food Research; extract DNA with the Genome Analysis Centre; find out about nature’s factories with the SAW Trust; discover the secret of targeted drug delivery with Procarta; find out what Teacher Scientist Network can offer schools; learn about the latest clinical trial using chocolate and blueberries from the Med School; do a CSI investigation with Thinkers in Education and sun gaze with the Norfolk Astronomical Society. To break up visiting the stands two shows by local science communicators entertained everyone. James Piercy from Science Made Simple illustrated the floating sausage in Science Lucky Dip; and in It’s all Done with Mirrors with Dr Ken Farqhuar, Inspirational Science Company, unsuspecting adults were floated on planks!

Members of the Molecular Microbiology Department from John Innes Centre showcased their new animation describing antibiotic resistance on their stand being prepared for the BBSRC 20th Anniversary Exhibition in November called Antibiotic Hunters. Visitors were able to discover where our current antibiotics come from and look at antibiotic producing bacterial colonies under microscopes. Working with the travelling arts emporium MEandER and using discarded lab equipment there was the great antibiotic hunt and you could suggest where we might look for new ones. Suggestions included a kangaroos pouch, compost bins, swamps and frogs stomachs!  Unsolicited feedback from one visitor described her son’s experience:

Just wanted to say how much my son enjoyed the event yesterday.  At tea last night he explained the need for new antibiotics to his Dad in huge detail comparing it to a battle between two armies.  He hadn’t heard it explained like this and had come up with the analogy after thinking about it.  I think it is testament to how good the explanations were by the people involved and how much it had interested him.

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