Brain Box on Campus

A giant wooden sculpture of the brain as part of the Brain Box science extravaganza organised by Professor Andreas Prokop and Professor Stuart Allan, both based within the School of Biological Sciences, is now a permanent exhibition at FBMH, AV Hill Building.

The sculpture was part of the Brain Box science extravaganza which took place in the Manchester Town Hall on Manchester Day this year. Many hundreds of visitors were invited to wire up the sculpture with colourful pieces of string to illustrate the complexity of the brain’s many billions of connections, and to turn visitors’ participation into a legacy.

Professor Andreas Prokop from the Division of Molecular and Cellular Function and one of the main organisers of the event said: “Feedback from the event has been fantastic, and the degree of collaboration across the city and region was unprecedented. The design and public presentation was of an exceptional standard and this helped deliver a highly professional but also fun and informative event. We encourage everyone to visit the legacy website.”

Professor Stuart Allan, part of the Division of Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology, another of the event’s main organisers added: “We aspired to have an event much bigger and more collaborative than ever before and this is exactly what we achieved. The fact we could link in with Manchester Day in such an iconic venue as the Town Hall was just brilliant.”

You can view a time-lapse film of the brain sculpture gaining it’s new connections over the course of the day, which was subsequently showcased at the British Pavilion in Rio at the Olympic Games, as well as a Storify collection of social media responses.

The Brain Box attracted over 5,000 people of all ages and provided a unique collaboration between the city’s three universities: The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and Salford University, as well as Manchester City Council, MoSI, NHS Trusts, patient groups and artists. With more than 50 stands manned by over 200 volunteers, focussing on all different aspects of the brain – including the basics, vision, pain, history, learning, brain imaging and what happens when the brain goes wrong – the Brain Box provided a unique experience for visitors.