7 June 2017

The Francis Crick Institute provides an excellent example of how to engage members of the public in scientific research.

As part of the College’s Learning at Work week, some College staff went to the The Francis Crick Institute near London King’s Cross. Boasting 4km of laboratory benching, 17,000 light bulbs and a mobile app to help navigate your way around the building, the Crick is the leading and largest biomedical discovery unit in Europe.

The Crick is at the forefront of research to help improve the understanding of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. It was a valuable visit for College staff, enabling them to meet the scientists who work towards  a better understanding of cancer, stroke, and a host of other common and debilitating diseases.

Public Engagement staff also took part in the visit and took note of the inventive ways that the Crick engages the public about their work. This includes the Crick’s version of the Science Museum’s Science Lates series – Crick Lates, which include activities described as: “from getting hands-on with state-of-the-art laboratory equipment, to crafting activities and inspiring talks, there's something for everyone, no matter how much science you know.”

The College has run its own activities as part of Science Lates at the Science Museum. Members who have taken part in the College’s Advanced Science Communication Training are given the opportunity to run their own event at Science Lates. They have previously been very successful and we are keen to do more in the future.

From setting up activities at Science Lates to volunteering at local career fairs, the College is very proud of the public engagement work undertaken by members. Looking forward, we are always looking for members to create new events to engage the public about the diverse world of pathology.

The Public Engagement Team's job at the College is to help members do just that. They supply online resources which provide ideas and practical advice on the development and running of an event. They also have a number of free promotional and educative materials. So why not set up an event in your local community? If you’re interested in doing so, or need help creating one, please contact Rachel Berkoff at rachel.berkoff@rcpath.org