Inside DNA: Unique travelling exhibition offers public chance to shape future science policy

Posted by pt91 at Nov 27, 2012 03:56 PM |
University of Leicester's GENIE CETL working with museum on new genetics exhibition

Issued by Leicester City Council in November 2012

“Inside DNA: A Genomic Revolution” offers the public the chance to challenge their own perceptions of current genome research and have a say in the future policy of a science that will affect our lives. “Inside DNA: A Genomic Revolution” is now open at New Walk Museum & Art until 7th April 2013.

“Inside DNA: A Genomic Revolution” is the first UK major touring exhibition on genomics.  Funded by The Wellcome Trust, the UK’s largest charity, the exhibition is the result of a partnership between Ecsite-uk, the UK network of science centres and museums, and At-Bristol, a leading science centre in the UK, with scientific support from the world renowned Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge.

Visitors will have direct access to the research and opinions of leading UK scientists, who are involved in the rapidly advancing field of genomic science in the areas of health, identity and evolution.  Contributors include, former Prime Minister Tony Blair; and eminent scientist John Sulston, the Nobel prize winner whose team sequenced almost one-third of the human genome.

Inside DNA provides a combination of hands-on exhibits and a programme of live events. Visitors can explore the role of genes and environment in human biology and health as well as take part in the debate about our use of genomic research. Feedback from the project will then be shared directly with the Human Genetics Commission – the UK Government’s advisory body on new developments in human genetics and how they impact on people’s lives.

Clare Matterson from the Wellcome Trust, which funds the exhibition, said: "Over a decade since the first human genome was published, scientists are just starting to get to grips with what the information in our DNA means for health and disease. Inside DNA is more relevant than ever, giving people an important chance to explore their natural curiosity around the issues raised by this exciting research.”

Phil Winfield, Chief Executive of At-Bristol and Executive Director of Inside DNA’s project board, said:  “Inside DNA is unique in many respects.  It breaks new ground by enabling science centres to cater to adult audiences, the set-up of the project also demonstrates an effective model of science centres leveraging one another’s strengths and collaborating as a network. This is an exceptionally cost-effective strategy for a sector where resources are limited.   At-Bristol is very proud to be at the forefront of this project, which breaks the frontier of science communication, and be part of this genomic revolution.”

To complement the exhibition New Walk Museum & Art Gallery are working in partnership with GENIE, Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in Genetics based within the Department of Genetics at University of Leicester, on an exciting events programme. The partnership events will include a series of lunchtime talks with experts from the University of Leicester, hands-on workshops during February’s half-term holidays and Leicester schools invited for workshops at the museum to celebrate National Science and Engineering Week (15th - 24th March 2013).

Dr Nicola Suter-Giorgini from GENIE commented: “We are very excited to have the opportunity to work with the museum to help bring the fascinating world of DNA to life. The University of Leicester’s Genetics department is highly regarded in the research community and the lunchtime talks will give our research scientists the opportunity to let the public know what we are doing.” 

Dr Cas Kramer, GENIE’s Outreach and Public Engagement Coordinator, added: “GENIE’s varied outreach programme has enabled us to develop the workshops to further enhance the inside DNA exhibit and we are very much looking forward to working with the Museum over the next six months.”

The first lunchtime talk organised by GENIE, entitled “The Human Genome: the History Book within us”, will take place on Tuesday 18th December 2012 from 1.00pm - 2.00pm at New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, presented by Prof Mark Jobling from the University of Leicester.

For more details on the exhibition and events programme, visit: www.leicester.gov.uk/insidedna

Funded by The Wellcome Trust, the exhibition is spearheaded by Ecsite-uk, and produced by At-Bristol. At-Bristol has led on the management and development of the project with support and input from– the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, who led on the scientific advisory panel.

“Inside DNA: A Genomic Revolution” is now open at New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester until 7th April 2013, free admission to the exhibition and museum.

Ends

Notes to Editors:

For more details on the exhibition visit:
www.leicester.gov.uk/insidedna
www.insidedna.org.uk

New Walk Museum & Art Gallery is Leicester's original museum has wide ranging collections and displays spanning the natural and cultural world. Located on the historic New Walk, our temporary exhibitions feature works from our collections, touring exhibitions from National Museums and a programme of contemporary art and craft exhibitions.

A family friendly day-out, the galleries include Ancient Egypt, Dinosaurs, Wild Space, World Arts and a gallery for the under 5s ‘The Den’ and galleries include permanent displays of Picasso Ceramics: The Attenborough Collection and German Expressionist Art, the collection acclaimed as the finest of its kind in the UK.

At-Bristol (registered charity 1049954) is a leading science centre in the UK and a major player in the worldwide science centre movement. It is a world-class science and discovery centre that makes distinctive, valued and recognised contributions to informal science learning and public engagement with science across Europe. A registered charity, At-Bristol has hosted more than 4 million visits to-date.

The science centre has an extensive track record of managing and producing large-scale exhibitions. It is fast becoming a hub, developing exhibitions on behalf of and in collaboration with consortia of science centres and institutions. At-Bristol is the only UK science centre to be part of the Science Learning Centres network.  http://www.at-bristol.org.uk

The UK Assocation for Science and Discovery Centres (ASDC) represents the interests of more than 50 science centres, science museums and discovery centres in the UK. ASDC was set up to give the expanding sector a strong national voice. They aim to raise the profile of science centres and to establish their role as a forum for dialogue between science specialists and the public whilst offering the centres as an informal resource for learners of all ages. http://sciencecentres.org.uk/

The Wellcome Trust is the largest independent charity in the UK and the second largest medical research charity in the world. It funds innovative biomedical research, in the UK and internationally, spending around £500 million each year to support the brightest scientists with the best ideas. The Wellcome Trust supports public debate about biomedical research and its impact on health and wellbeing.  http://www.wellcome.ac.uk

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is one of the world's leading genome centres. Through its ability to conduct research at scale, it is able to engage in bold and long-term exploratory projects that are designed to influence and empower medical science globally. Institute research findings, generated through its own research programmes and through its leading role in international consortia, are being used to develop new diagnostics and treatments for human disease. The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is based in Hinxton, Cambridge, UK.  http://www.sanger.ac.uk/

GENIE (Genetics Education Networking for Innovation and Excellence) is the UK’s Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) in Genetics. It was established in 2005 within the world-renowned Department of Genetics of the University of Leicester. Its outreach and public engagement programme is very well regarded within the Leicester and Leicestershire school community and beyond. http://www.le.ac.uk/genie

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