Cambridge LIFE LAB project wins place in Europe’s largest public science event

Mighty Molecular Motors Exhibit at STEM in Song, March 2018
Mighty Molecular Motors Exhibit at STEM in Song, March 2018

Five Cambridge science institutions including the LMB have won a bid to engage the local region with science as part of European Researchers’ Night, the largest public science event in Europe. LIFE LAB is one of four UK initiatives awarded funding from the European Commission. It will establish a programme of pop-up science events in shopping centres, cafes and music venues across Cambridgeshire on 28th September 2018 and again on 27th September 2019.

LIFE LAB will be led by Wellcome Genome Campus Public Engagement, and delivered by a consortium including the Wellcome Sanger Institute,  the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), Babraham Institute, the University of Cambridge and the LMB. A main aim of LIFE LAB is to reach and engage communities who may not otherwise have access to science or research, through a range of hands on activities designed to be inspirational while highlighting the career opportunities across our region.

This is the first time that Cambridge has hosted European Researchers’ Night, which will simultaneously involve 55 other projects in 27 countries across the European Union, from Aberdeen to Athens and Helsinki to Heidelberg.

Project lead Dr Ken Skeldon, Head of Wellcome Genome Campus Public Engagement, said: “European Researchers’ Night is a fantastic opportunity to excite people about science and research. We’ll be hosting events in Cambridge, Peterborough and Ely and look forward to welcoming people who perhaps might not have been to a science festival before.  We also want to engage people in a way that is relevant to their everyday lives, and place a spotlight on the huge range of career opportunities here in Cambridge and our surrounding region.

Klaus Haupt, Head of Unit, Research Executive Agency, said: “This is a shared celebration of researchers, demonstrating their contribution to our society and enabling open discussion between them and the public on the last Friday of September across Europe. Part of a continental initiative promoting the values of breaking down barriers and boundaries in science, the European Researchers’ Night aims to inspire and to increase awareness of research and innovation activities. We are delighted that Cambridge is now part of this.

Liz Pryke, LMB Public Engagement Manager, said: “We are excited to be part of this Europe-wide event celebrating research and the impact it has on our region and beyond, sharing researchers’ excitement for the life sciences and inspiring more young people to get involved. LIFE LAB events are for everyone – we hope to meet and connect with many new people.

2018 is also the European Year of Cultural Heritage, and the LIFE LAB initiative will celebrate this by showcasing science in culture across our region – past, present and future. Other events around the UK will be organised by the Natural History Museum in London, the University of Aberdeen, and the University of Bristol.

Further references

For further updates on LIFE LAB in the run up to 28th September, follow CamLifeLab on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Youtube

European Researchers’ Night
European Year of Cultural Heritage
Wellcome Genome Campus Public Engagement
The Wellcome Sanger Institute
European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI)
The Babraham Institute
The University of Cambridge