Innovation Institute

Medicine & Machines PAWS Evening Event

The Institute of Physics provided an inspiring backdrop for the Medicine and Machines evening on 23 March, organised by Public Awareness of Science & Engineering, and among which the NEF was a lead sponsor.

The event brought scientist, engineers and technicians together with practitioners in broadcast programming and new media with the aim of helping to open medical science up to a wider audience.

The event was headed up by Science Broadcaster and NEF Panel member, Maggie Philbin and Imperial College’s Head of Imaging, Professor Jimmy Bell, other speakers included Professor Karen Kirby, EPSRC Research Network and Tony McHale, Executive Producer of BBC’s Holby City amongst others. Case studies and presentations by a range of scientists and engineers (including a scanner to measure attendees’ body fat) helped to illustrate the wide range of careers available in medicine, especially at the technician level. The response from the media was enthusiastic and immediate with new ideas for storylines (such as a tumour zapping love story set in a particle therapy room!).

Dr Sandra Shefelbine, from Imperial’s Bioengineering Department, said “it is so important for scientists to get out of the lab and explain to the public what they are doing. I appreciate your work in encouraging us to do it!” Maggie Philbin added, “…that more media focus needs to be given to science and engineering technicians as they do incredibly fascinating things, and provide wonderful material for writers and producers of television dramas.”

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