Bringing Art to the World of Science and Research

Tue, 21 Jun 2016 14:22:00 BST

The Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research (MCCIR) and Salford Research and Development at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust have been working with St Ambrose Barlow RC High School to bring art to the world of inflammation science and research.

Science and art students from the school worked together in four teams (skin, art and sketching; blood and guts; cancer killers; and art and airways) to understand a range of inflammatory diseases such as asthma, psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease. They worked together to understand the impact of living with such conditions through a series of mentoring sessions with artists, patient groups and scientists from the MCCIR who are researching new ways to treat these diseases.

The science students also spent a day in the lab at the MCCIR, investigating their team’s disease and prepared scientific posters explaining their research and what the possible impact of this is to patient groups and the wider public. While the art students had a day’s art mentoring with two local artists, Àgata Alcaniz and Dan Birkbeck, to understand how to use art to communicate complex ideas, especially around disease.

The scientific and art works were brought together in a celebration event in April 2016. The project not only provided insights into both scientific and artistic career choices for the students, but highlighted the importance of art in communicating science to a wider audience. The posters are can be viewed on the MCCIR website and there is also a short film about the project. This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust.