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Cambridge Science Festival: drop in at the Institute

Every other year we host a drop-in day at the Gurdon Institute on a weekend during the Cambridge Science Festival.

Our on-site event on Saturday 18th March 2017 was a roaring success, judging by the numbers of visitors (nearly 400) and how long they stayed to find out more about biology under the microscope.


making zoom boxes2017: Make and test your own microscope

"The microscope is a window to the incredible ‘small world’ of life. Make your own simple microscope using your mobile phone to magnify and view this micro-world and submit your best pictures to our competition. Try out our lab microscopes, meet our scientists to discuss their latest research and find out how microscopy is pushing the boundaries of what can be observed."

Remember to send in your images to the Zoom Box Photo Competition!

Open until 18th April. Send the best images that you have taken with your very own Zoom Box to for a chance to win a more powerful microscope.



Feedback comments close up

1. The competition is open from 18th March 2017 and closes 11.59pm 18th April 2017.
2. All photos must be taken using the Zoom Box and submitted by email to:
3. Photos must be accompanied by a short title, the name of the participant and the age if the participant is under 16.
4. Submitted image file size must not exceed 4 MB per image, and is recommended to be at least 4000 x 2000 Pixels.
5. Each participant may submit up to 3 photos to the competition.
6. Digital adjustments that maintain the scientific value of the photo are allowed.
7. Photos must not be licensed or disposed of any rights that will conflict with the competition.
8. Participants agree to grant the Gurdon Institute and the University of Cambridge a nonexclusive irrevocable licence to reproduce, enlarge, publish and exhibit for any purpose related to the competition in any medium, including print and digital. 
9. A panel of judges will be appointed by the Gurdon Institute to choose the winning photos.
10. Winners will be contacted by email. First Prize is an Apex microscope. There are 10 Second Prizes of a Phonescope.

CamSciFest programme 2017

For more information, contact: 


The CSF 2017 programme cover (right) features a special microscopic image of research from the Gurdon Institute. Former postdoc in the Piddini lab, Saskia Suijkerbuijk, reconstructed this 3D image of the midgut of the fruit fly. The oxygen-carrying trachea is in yellow and nuclei in cells lining the gut are in blue.

Past events 

2015: One body: a multitude of cells

"The human body is made of trillions of cells. Explore how one cell, the egg, can give rise to so many different cells organised in such an amazingly precise pattern."

We opened our doors to members of the public, providing a room full of hands-on activities about developmental biology and cancer biology. The activities were designed to be accessible to all, including: watch the first division of a frog egg, perform a nuclear transfer, see your own cheek cells, examine fluorescent worms, discover the lifestyle of the fly. Many scientists were on hand to guide visitors and answer questions.

There was also a lecture by Nobel Laureate John Gurdon, with limited tickets that were quickly snapped up. We had 340 visitors and involved 32 volunteers.


2013: All you want to know about cloning

"Come along to better understand what cloning is about, try our activities and meet the scientists of the Gurdon Institute."

A variety of stalls were offered with different activities similar to those in 2015.  We had 330 visitors and fielded 28 volunteers.