Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weeknote #35 (w/e 20/3/11)

Lots of public engagement activity to report from the last two weeks. The first item is that the BACTOCOM piece is now up in the new Revolution Manchester gallery at MOSI (the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry). It's a great gallery, and we're delighted to be featured, but the use of "Bactocom" as a noun (as opposed to an acronym) means that we now have to rig up a fake machine made out of petri dishes, computer parts and moss, just in case anyone asks to see "the bactocom". (Photo by Ade Hunter.)

We also launched DIYbio Manchester last week. This is a one-year project, funded by the Wellcome Trust public engagement programme, with the aim of encouraging citizen scientists to become more actively involved in biology.

Dan Hett wrote a nice blog post about the launch party, and Hwa Young and I were briefly interviewed on BBC Radio Manchester's breakfast show (which you can hear below).

Alice and I also had great fun at Saturday's 'Hands on Science' family fun day, organised at MMU as part of National Science and Engineering week. Her personal favourites were the "memory metal" and the "magic sand", the robots and the racing car. I think she also enjoyed "talking to the computer" (the Turing Test, run by Ben and Matthew).

Once again, there was strong representation from the Novel Computation Group, with Naomi and Zarka manning demo stands, as well as Ben and Matthew helping out. Not sure what's happening with Alice's right hand in that picture, though.

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