Sci-comm marketplace


The Sci-comm Marketplace will take place on Thursday 11th July from 14:30 - 17:00. Full abstracts for Marketplace stalls can be found below, and maps of the venue are available on the Event Info page.

M13 (stall withdrawn)
M14 Data Science Game
M15 droso4schools
M16 Superterranean Carsick Blues
M17 HS Millions Hiding (video)
M18 Transformation to clean air (poster)
M19 Rio Nuevo: the documentary (video)
M20 Machine Learning with CHOMP
M21 British Society for the History of Science
M22 Electric Dreams
M23 Bassjamba Community Radio
M24 Manchester Poetry Library

M1 Bad Bugs Book Club
M2 Tom Rocks Maths
M3 Breathtaking Lungs (video)
M4 (stall withdrawn)
M5 Science Ceilidh
M6 Radiotherapy & Me (video)
M7 Science Storytelling With Video
M8 Agenda setting on green care (poster)
M9 Still Life (art display)
M10 (stall withdrawn)
M11 (stall withdrawn)
M12 Manchester Girl Geeks


Immersive theatre experience

A new virus is ravaging the planet, infecting animals and humans at a worrying rate; we welcome you to BioCore, a medical research facility tasked with managing this crisis and finding an immunisation to protect our planet. Working as part of a team and against rival labs, you will be guided by our Artificial Intelligence System to decide the most effective and ethical way forward, but time is short and lives are on the line...

Vector is an interactive experience, which uses elements of performance, game and integrated technology to open up dialogue and shed light on the ethics that society faces when using animals as part of medical research.

The performance will take place in 3.21 (third floor) from 3.30pm-4.30pm during the Marketplace. There are a limited number of spaces available, so if you would like to participate, you can sign up on the table by the lifts outside G34.

M1 The Bad Bugs Bookclub

Discussion space

The Bad Bugs Book club (established 2009) comprises scientists and non-scientists who read novels where infectious disease forms part of the plot. Discussion addresses participants’ impressions, the microbiology and disease epidemiology described within, and enables extension to contemporary (or historical) issues, such as antimicrobial resistance, the impact of vaccination and disease emergence. The website provides meeting reports and reading guides for almost sixty books. Complementing the presentation in session 4E, the stall will be a space where visitors can come to find out more about the project, discuss the potential of 'franchising' the book club, or discussing the content of a specific book that the book club has considered.

M2 Calculating the Perfect Penalty Kick with Tom Rocks Maths 

Interactive activity

Using research from physics and maths we can calculate the optimum placement of a penalty kick to maximise your chance of scoring in a shootout. Learn how it’s done and test out your new found knowledge by taking your very own penalty! There are prizes to be won. 

M3 Breathtaking Lungs


The Breathtaking Lungs project brought researchers, patients, artists and local partners together to promote lung health and raise awareness of respiratory research. Wythenshawe has the largest clinical respiratory department in the UK. It also has significantly higher than average rates of respiratory conditions, yet the voices of this local community seem to be largely unheard. Our aim was to change this. We used arts-based and community-led approaches to reach and engage with people who might never have connected with health research.

M5 Science Ceilidh

Interactive activity & post-marketplace ceilidh event

Come join the Science Ceilidh stall and get hands on with our interdisciplinary activities around the arts and sciences (including holding a 3D printed musician's brain!), have a chat about our learnings and free online training courses and pick up some of our free teacher/educator resources and videos aimed for the classroom, families and those with additional support needs too!

M6 Radiotherapy & Me


Around half of people who have cancer are treated with radiotherapy, but people don't seem to talk about it as much as other treatments such as chemotherapy. Greater Manchester is one of the world-leading centres for radiotherapy and research. Researchers are working to identify the right personalised strategy for every patient to improve treatment and reduce side effects.

Radiotherapy and Me brings patients, researchers and artists together to explore experiences of radiotherapy through storytelling, poetry and visual arts. We hope that you'll connect with the storytellers and their experiences and that these stories are shared more widely to encourage more understanding of what it's like to have radiotherapy and increase awareness of research.

Radiotherapy & Me is being delivered by the Public Programmes Team and Contact.

M7 Science Storytelling With Video


The stall will showcase a selection of the videos that Orinoco Communications has made for organisations including the Francis Crick Institute, the Physiological Society and the Gurdon Institute, Cambridge. A mixture of animations and short documentaries, the videos seek to explain science in an accessible, engaging and creative way, as well as showing what life is like for scientists behind the scenes at some of the UK's top research institutes.

M8 Research agenda setting process on green care services in Hungary


At ESSRG in the frame of the InSPIRES project, one of our main aims is to generate collaborative research projects on green care services and to initiate dialogue around this topic in Hungary, since a growing body of evidence proves that contact with nature enhances human health and well-being (Ulrich, 1991; Kaplan, 1989; Pretty, 2004; Barton et al., 2009; Natural England, 2016). In Western and Northern Europe green care is an emerging phenomenon (Haubenhofer, 2010), whereas here this concept is nearly unknown and invisible. As part of our novel research agenda-setting process, we mapped those Hungarian organisations and experts who offer green care services. Then we conducted interviews with them to explore their research needs concerning their fields. After we had identified the key players from this sector, we organised 5 Science Cafés in collaboration with the team of Care farm blog (blog on green care services in Hungarian) to introduce these examples to a broader audience, to identify further relevant stakeholders and to collect the citizens' theme-related research needs as well. We paid special attention to follow-up activities, such as interviews with the lecturers, podcasts and videos to promote the topic and to provide opportunities for citizens to join our process later.

M9 Still Life

Art display

The University of Manchester's Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre (MFHRC) is a specialist stillbirth research centre funded by Tommy's, the largest UK baby research charity. Stillbirth remains a taboo subject for many, often leaving families affected by it socially isolated. It is therefore imperative to raise public awareness about stillbirth and the research taking place to prevent it. Members of the MFHRC ran a project to engage both women who had a stillbirth and the wider public with their research. Women who had experienced stillbirth took part in a series of creative workshops. The workshops were developed by an artist alongside MFHRC researchers, midwives and a public engagement practitioner. The workshops helped the women express their experiences through art whilst providing a safe space for discussion about stillbirth and research. MFHRC researchers also took part in the workshops to facilitate the discussions on research.

The pieces of art, poetry and sculpture that were created were showcased at a public exhibition. Our stall will display some of these art pieces. This project revealed how creative public engagement techniques could be an effective way of discussing highly sensitive topics such as stillbirth. Exhibition attendees felt that they had a greater understanding of stillbirth and appreciation of the need for research in the area showing that the resulting outputs of projects such as this may be incredibly powerful in raising public awareness and engaging people in research.

M12 Manchester Girl Geeks - Soft Electronics

Interactive activity

We run events monthly, and one of the activities we do is soft electronics. We teach children how to sew a circuit using metallic thread, so they end up with a small stuffed toy with an LED. This means we don't have to use soldering irons and smaller hands can get involved with learning how to sew and how to put a basic circuit together

M14 Data Science Game

Interactive game

How do you feel about sharing your medical data for research? What does it mean when data is anonymised? And what insights can data science really give us about a treatment?

These are some of the questions we look at in our data science game. It is a mobile festival and exhibition game for 4 to 8 players. Split into teams of medical experts and data researchers, players analyse records and jointly investigate different treatments to a rather... unusual ailment. Both speed and security matter as they work towards a decision.

The data science game was commissioned by the Health e-Research Centre at the University of Manchester, with funding from Connected Health Cities and the Wellcome ISSF fund. It was co-designed by Playfuel Games, Sarah Fox and Ben Green, and was shown at Lancashire Science Festival, Bluedot and British Science Week.

More information:

M15 droso4schools: achieving additional benefit through merging scicomm with science education

Interactive activity

"The 'Manchester Fly Facility' science communication initiative aims for a rather inconspicuous, yet important objective: to raise awareness of the enormous importance that biomedical research in the fruit fly Drosophila has for human health science (10 Nobel laureates in Medicine!). In today's science politics, the unique opportunities that Drosophila offers become frighteningly side-lined; clever strategies are required to combat the underlying misconceptions and lack of awareness.

Here we showcase how we combine science communication with school collaborations - in ways that are beneficial for schools, whilst delivering our scicomm messages to young non-self-selecting audiences in meaningful ways. To achieve this, we launched our sub-initiative 'droso4schools', where we sent placement students as teaching assistants into schools to establish true scientist-teacher collaborations. This enabled us to work out lessons that are curriculum-relevant, use school-adequate teaching techniques and make use of Drosophila as an effective teaching tool. Drosophila is ideal to this end: it is easy and cheap to keep in schools, bringing life back into biology lessons; its unique biology knowledge base provides for conceptually profound, curriculum-relevant and memorable ways of teaching, including numerous micro-experiments and anecdotes of relevance.

At our stand, we will demonstrate some of these experiments and explain how they link into curriculum-relevant lesson contents, whilst communicating the power and relevance of fly research. Ultimately, we want to bring flies back into the school curriculum reaching young audiences nationwide, and the necessary steps are being taken.

More information:

M16 Superterranean Carsick Blues

Interactive activity and video

Air pollution and its subsequent impacts on air quality represents a significant burden on human and ecosystem health. The Global Burden of Disease 2016 estimated that air pollution is responsible for 6.5 million excess human deaths annually and that outdoor and indoor pollution is the fourth ranked risk factor for human health. In the UK it is estimated that the public health burden associated with poor air quality is significant with between 40-50,000 early deaths attributed to particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide. Poor air quality, particularly associated with nitrogen dioxide from road transport, is also a factor in the declining resilience and health of ecosystems.

This stall will demonstrate a public engagement activity based on an 'Air Quality Walk' where pollutants are monitored continuously using personal dose meters and a particulate monitor. The walk stops at points to explore factors contributing to poor air quality (e.g. traffic slowing at road junctions) and those driving improvements in air quality (e.g. green infrastructure). The discussion and observations at each site are delivered using a series of placards with individual words and phrases (e.g. 'dead space', 'dead people', 'trees are good' and so on) inspired by Bob Dylan's video to Subterranean Homesick Blues. A video will run on a loop as part of the demonstration to illustrate how the engagement activity operates in practice. This will be accompanied by a song composed from the words featured on the placards.

M17 HS Millions Hiding


#HSMillionsHiding exhibition at the 2018 Manchester Science Festival Community Science showcase was an international Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) patient led project. Facilitated and enabled due to the intersectionality and dynamics of those involved. University of Salford, lecturer Dr Erinma Ochu and a student with HS collaborated to facilitate the space for HS patients from the international HS community to engage the public in ways that were important and meaningful to them based upon their needs.

Visit the stall to find out more about the project.

M18 I've got my heart set on Chris Boardman, it's going to be amazing! The role of opinion leaders in shaping the transformation to clean air.


Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK. Transport is one of the most contributing sectors, and cities across this region need to change the way its citizens get around. While it is acknowledged that road space needs to be handed over to cyclists and pedestrians, these measures are often met with public skepticism.

In this study, we have conducted a series of interviews with women in Greater Manchester to explore how they imagine a future city with clean air and what measures they believe should be put in place. We have concentrated on women as they have specific motilities that have been underexplored and underserved

We have identified a phenomenon that we have named the Chris Boardman effect-named after a British Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist. In 2017 Boardman was appointed Greater Manchester's first ever commissioner for walking and cycling. Although Boardman has no formal qualifications when it comes to planning, he is highly trusted and inspiring. Through this study we look at what makes Boardman a respected opinion leader, and highlight what this tells us about communication in relation to global environmental challenges.

M19 Rio Nuevo, the Documentary


In a region where there were never any streams or signs of surface watercourses, rivers began to form. Suddenly, small segments of water emerged, dragging sediment and growing in size to become extensive and deep gullies with permanent salt water current. The settlers of the area do not remember having seen this phenomenon before, but some signs. Why do they start to appear now? Why in this territory?

Produced by the National University of San Luis (Argentina) and CONICET (National Council of Scientific and Technical Research) 

M20 Machine Learning with CHOMP

Interactive game

Come and play a simple game against CHOMP, the CHocolate Orientated Machine learning Processor. Take it in turns against CHOMP to bite into a big bar of chocolate, making sure to avoid the poisoned block. After every game, CHOMP learns something new about the game and improves its strategy, so the earlier you visit, the better your chances of winning! Over the last two years, CHOMP Has Outperformed Many People and won two awards based on public feedback at the University of Southampton Doctoral Research Showcase and Science and Engineering Festival. This is Machine Learning, but with no computers, maths or jargon!

Dan Wallace is a Postgraduate Research student at the University of Southampton, and supported by the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Next Generation Computational Modelling and the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research.

M21 British Society for the History of Science

Informational stall

The BSHS aims to foster an understanding of the history and social impact of all branches of science, technology and medicine in the academic and wider communities, and provide a national focus for the discipline. Visit their stall to find out about their work.

M22 Electric Dreams

Interactive demonstration

Electric Dreams takes us back to the 1980s to explore how the future of science and technology looked to the audiences of the past. With live demonstrations, games and video clips, we’ll explore how a past generation brought computers, robots, and new scientific ideas into everyday life, and how these projects influenced the technologies and teaching of today.

This project was created partly as an opportunity for skills development for students, emphasising the connections between the parallel Master’s programmes in History of Science, Technology and Medicine (HSTM) and Science Communication at the University of Manchester. The content is based mainly on local research on the promotion of information technology concepts to general audiences in the 1970s and 80s, but also draws on the history of science communication, featuring activities and video materials that were in use at the time. Originally developed as a themed room for the University of Manchester’s Science Spectacular public engagement strand, Electric Dreams is now being reworked as a stall-based activity that can be slotted into a variety of larger events.

M23 Bassjamba: Community Radio, Community Science

Community radio broadcast

Bassajamba will showcase Sanguine, the science, tech and health show on local community station North Manchester FM. Conceive of your own community science based program, try a live broadcast and learn of the different ways Community Radio contributes to including diverse perspectives in science.

M24 Manchester Poetry Library

Book collection and poetry showcase

In 2020 Manchester Metropolitan University will be opening the Northwest’s first ever poetry library. We are keen to develop our collection in collaboration with experts across different disciplines and a range of different communities. At Science in Public, we will be showcasing some of the exciting things the Library has to offer including the work of world-renowned poets on the subject of science, with work by writers from the Manchester Writing School. We will also be asking attendees to recommend their favourite poems on scientific themes with the chance of winning a collection of poetry books.