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The Gurdon Institute


BigWE microscope

The Cambridge Live Big Weekend is a festival in the heart of the city on Parker's Piece where attendees can enjoy a range of activities and performances across the weekend. Since 2016 the Institute has brought hands-on activities to the Big Weekend to engage festival attendees in different aspects of our research.

2019: Tattoo my Science

Visitors can choose a temporary tattoo from a collection created by Gurdon Institute scientists with designs based on our cutting-edge research. Visitors will have a chance to discuss the research with the scientist applying it and afterward, they can show off their tattoo (and new science knowledge) to friends, family and colleagues. 

2018: A thought in a Petri dish

As part of our Experiments in Art and Science project and using artist, David Blandy's, film 'Borked Brain' about neurons in a dish for inspiration, visitors were invited to paint neurons in a Petri dish, look through microscopes at real neurons, and draw neurons and their messages in a giant Petri dish.

2017: Make and test your own microscopeBigWE neurons in a dish

The microscope is a window to the incredible “small world” of life.  We helped visitors to make their own simple microscope using a mobile phone to magnify and view the micro-world. Hundreds of science-hungry children and adults met Gurdon Institute scientists to discuss their latest research and how microscopy is pushing the boundaries of what can be observed in biology. 

2016: Why do we use fruit flies in the lab?

As part of the dedicated Fun Lab tent on Parker's Piece, with the live-music stage booming in the distance and thousands of people of all ages enjoying a relaxed day out in the sun, the Gurdon Institute public engagement volunteers shared their passion for research with a steady throng of visitors over five hours. Our stand aimed to introduce fruit flies as a model organism for developmental biology and disease-related research, with the story of the short life-cycle of Drosophila and the ease of introducing genetic mutations, plus examples of eggs, larvae, live flies and a range of genetic mutants to identify under the microscopes.



DSJ fun lab life cycle fun lab Libby fun lab