Cambridge, Ely and Peterborough come to life with LifeLab

Cambridge, Ely and Peterborough come to life with LifeLab

Last Friday and Saturday saw public spaces in Cambridge, Ely and Peterborough come alive with pop-up labs, storytelling and performances as locations such as shopping centres, cafes, pubs and entertainment venues became sites of discovery.

LifeLab, one of the UK’s celebrations of European Researchers’ Night, delivered an exciting programme of events to engage and inspire the region about the research happening on our doorsteps and how science is part of our daily lives.

Through events on both days and a series of schools visits prior to the public events, LifeLab activities reached an audience of over 3,600 people. In addition to lots of opportunity to take part in interactive activities, additional events ranged from cosy café-based chats to laughing along with researchers as they gave a humourous look at life in the lab.

Dr Kenneth Skeldon, LifeLab lead from Wellcome Genome Campus Public Engagement, said: “It’s fantastic that LifeLab 2019 has been so well received by audiences right across our region. Over 200 scientists shared their enthusiasm and passion for science with 3,600 people, mostly over an inspirational 24 hours of activity. Whether in returning locations, or new venues for 2019 such as Ely Cathedral and the Cambridge Junction, events were hugely well received and we’re grateful to everyone involved.”

Attendees expressed their enthusiasm for the discovery opportunities available throughout the LifeLab programme, commenting both on the quality of their engagements with researchers, and also the impact of events such as LifeLab in inspiring an interest in science in young people. 

"Everyone has been really engaging with the kids, really impressed. And they were very patient with silly questions!" [LifeLab event attendee]

"Thanks for doing this, it makes all the difference. My daughter went to a similar event years ago and is now in a science career. So inspirational!" [LifeLab event attendee]

LifeLab is a European Researchers’ Night project supported by the European Commission and led by Wellcome Genome Campus Public Engagement, with five partners; the Wellcome Sanger Institute, the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), the Babraham Institute, the University of Cambridge and the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology.