Public Engagement Case Studies

Since the Centre opened in 2017, the Public Engagement team have been supporting our researchers on a number of different projects. Find out more about these projects in these case studies.

Hot Stuff

Summer 2018

Hot Stuff was a hands-on exhibition at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition in 2018. The project was led by Dr Samantha Terry, Lecturer in Radiation Biology. Hot Stuff aimed to introduce exhibition visitors to a number of concepts and ideas about radioactivity. 

In the development of the exhibits, the project team presented at cancer PPI groups to obtain feedback on their ideas and prototypes, and researchers took part in training which included how to talk about cancer sensitively, as well as using animals in research. 

Over 6,000 visitors attended Hot Stuff and evaluation showed that those involved, from the visitors, the project team, and the researchers, enjoyed it immensely. The Hot Stuff project not only led to an encouraging level of awareness and interest in radioactivity, but also in engagement itself. Read more in this case study which identifies key findings from the project and highlights learning for future similar projects.

Watch the Hot Stuff video and also find out what the researchers have been up to since their time at the Exhibition 

Read a PhD student’s perspective of taking part in Hot Stuff 

Project lead reflects on her experiences of leading Hot Stuff in this blog post 

Since this exhibition the props have been used many more times engaging new audiences – read about it here


Big Heart Data

Spring 2019

Researcher Dr Pablo Lamata and artist Salomé Bazin of Cellule Studio collaborated to exhibit the complex variation of the human heart through a visual curation of 3D printed hearts and interactive digital displays. They hoped that by presenting the minute details of each individual heart, Big Heart Data can provide the public with a deeper understanding of how abnormalities, like those associated with cardiovascular disease, lifestyle and genetics, are present in every person.

Pablo & Salomé  collaborated with our partner Evelina Children’s Heart Organisation and ECHO Teens Hub had the chance to visit the exhibition at Science Gallery London as part of the 2019 launch event. ECHO Teens enjoyed a day exploring 3D heart models and Virtual Reality headsets, while also coming up with ideas about what they would do with a 3D printed model of their own heart!  See photos from that event on the ECHO website.

Big Heart Data was on display at our partners Science Gallery London from 28 February – 12 May 2019 and had over 14,000 visitors. Watch this video about Big Heart Data


Kalostasis

September 2019

Researcher Pablo Lamata worked with Salome Bazin and Lucy Hardcastle studio to develop an interactive installation enacting the unseen flow of the heart: Kalostasis, that premiered at the London Design Festival at the V&A museum.

Kalostasis takes you on a journey inside the aorta, the largest artery of our body, to observe the fast blood flow passing through the heart. The installation translates scientific data into an immersive experience through touch, sight and sound.  The exhibit was part of London Design Festival at the V&A in September 2019 and had over 2,000 visitors.

Find out more on Cellule’s website.

We worked with the British Heart Foundation to get lived experience from adults with heart conditions, as well as getting feedback from parents of children with heart conditions. Read more on the BHF’s website.

Read about the ECHO Teens visit to the exhibit at the V&A. Find out more about this collaboration with ECHO.

Kalostasis was invited to be part of Venice Biennale in Summer 2021.

Download the Kalostasis case study to understand the impacts on the project on the reseachers, the artists, the visitors as well as the charity partners.


Art x Science

October 2021

Art x Science is a collaboration between the Royal College of Art and the School for Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Sciences, King’s College London exploring how cutting edge medical imaging research is shaping the future of healthcare. Driven by curiosity, two scientists and five artists collaborated and incorporated the views of community members to create two new art exhibits that reimagine research- In Utero and Hidden Stories of the Heart. 

In Utero explores how maternal physical and mental health impacts the development of baby’s brains during pregnancy, while Hidden Stories of the Heart explores research into how trauma can impact the structure and function of the heart.

For more information visit the project’s website


KHP Summer School

Annual event

Every year, the School’s research staff and students take part in King’s Health Partners (KHP) Summer School with the aim of inspiring and exposing young people from local Lambeth and Southwark schools about careers in science by engaging them with their work. 

The KHP Summer School is organised by our partner’s at NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ Biomedical Research Centre  , and consists of a week-long programme providing practical scientific and clinical research scenarios.

There can be a disconnect between the research community and young people, which can lead to a lack of awareness of the potential careers available in STEM subjects and that pathways to these careers are not always linear. To overcome this gap and to provide an insight into the field of research scientists working in biomedical engineering and imaging sciences, our researchers ran a series of interactive workshops as part of KHP Summer School around their research.

Around 20 students aged 15-16 years old attend the KHP Summer School each year, either visiting us in person or more recently online. 

Amaia was one of our researchers who took part in the online event in 2021 with 24 pupils (15–16-year-olds) from local, non-fee paying schools in Lambeth and Southwark. She shares her experience in this blog post.