All posts by nigmeng

Science Collider 16th-17th Aug – Create something wonderful with scientific data!

What is a Science Collider-1

What is a Science Collider?

  • The Science Collider is a 24 hour hack event during which participants form teams to experiment, improvise, create and play with data.
  • We are inviting scientists to bring data, hypotheses, concepts and images, and use these to create exciting, fun and engaging projects for public outreach.
  • We want to attract the existing programming and design audience, but also encourage a mix of other disciplines to attend; specifically scientific researchers, statisticians, artists, and makers -to ensure that the projects that emerge from the event are as diverse as possible.
  • The aim of the event is to promote the idea of Open Science and to make the research being undertaken in Newcastle more opaque and captivating to the wider community, by presenting it in accessible way. By encouraging attendees to work in a variety of media, we hope there will be something that will appeal to everyone. We are also keen to encourage inter-disciplinary introductions between people for future collaborations.
  • Participants will be guided towards the development of a presentable prototype. This might be an app, data interface, interactive data visualisation, poster, physical artwork or game – anything goes, we just want projects to be as creative as possible.
  • Previous events have been fun and informal, and although this event is sponsored, all IP is owned by participants.

What will participants get out of attending?

  • Discovering new ideas: A hack day incentivises the generation of spontaneous ideas. The limited timescale encourages quick thinking, impulsive problem solving, and working together for inspiration.
  • Morale boosting and team work: Participants develop something novel, doing something outside of their normal work. They also get to collaborate with people they may not normally interact with, increasing paths of communication.
  • A learning experience: By working together in teams containing members with diverse experience and knowledge, we hope that everyone who participates will leave the event with new skills. By holding lightening talks and mini workshops we hope that participants will be able to learn about the design process from a varied set of experienced professionals. We are also holding workshops and lightning talks.
  • A fun and memorable weekend: Hack days are fast paced and fun, with a vibrant and social atmosphere. Although small groups form to work on individual projects, by the end of the event everyone feels like part of one big team. There is a shared sense of achievement in having developed ideas into prototypes in such a short time. The enthusiasm, feedback and prizes make for a very rewarding experience.

Why provide data for the event?

  • We’re seeking researchers who would like to contribute science and engineering data for the teams to use as the basis for their projects.
  • Data may take any form – tables of numbers, images, narratives, sounds, etc. – we’re seeking variety to inspire people with!
  • Some of the most interesting projects arise from mixing data sets together – for example, if your tabulated data contains locations or ages, these can be paired with data from other domains, to augment and explore.
  • We’re particularly keen to include as much data as possible relating to our region, and the research done here.
  • These collaborations open up possibilities to share tools, knowledge, and ways of thinking – forming new types of project and problem solving. We hope participants will spin your data in a thought-provoking direction. After the event, teams may wish to work with you to continue developing the projects.
  • We’ll also be organising an exhibition of the prototypes – to give your research an opportunity for public appreciation.

What we have already
Some of the data we have already include:

  • CRUK statistics
  • Cancer Research data – images with linked hypothesis and sequencing data
  • Time-lapse movies of cell cycle components with related hypothesis
  • Quantified health data (data derived from wearable health devices)

Please make initial contact as soon as possible, so that we can work with you! We can guide on data format, and work with you to make it accessible for our participants. We’d strongly encourage your attendance at the event, to present the background to your data to the participants, and be available for questions and mentoring (you may, of course, also take part!)

To provide data, contact:
To join the mailing list, visit:
For tickets, visit:

Arthritis Awareness Day 26th June 2014

IGM scientists from Prof Mike Briggs‘s and Dr Kasia Pirog‘s groups are taking part in the Arthritis Awareness Day at the Baddiley-Clark building at Newcastle University on Thursday 26th June 2014. The day is aimed primarily at patients and members of the public, in order to raise awareness of arthritis and musculoskeletal research at Newcastle University amongst the patient groups in the North East and to facilitate the engagement and involvement of patients in the future research activities and projects.


IGM to take part in the Centre For Life Body Worlds exhibition

Scientists from the Institute of Genetic Medicine will host a series of exciting “Meet the Scientist” events at the world famous Body Worlds Vital exhibition at Centre for Life this autumn. We will be at the exhibition every weekend in September, showcasing our research and explaining how it fits within a bigger picture of human health and development using the exhibits and our own research samples to illustrate what we do at the Institute. A brief agenda is shown below:


6th September – mitochondrial diseases

7th September – heart function and disease

13th September – cartilage and bone development, ageing and disease

14th September – hearing and vision

20th September – skeletal muscle function and disease

21st September – skeletal muscle disease patient referral systems and large research consortiums

27th September – Human Developmental Biology Resource

28th September – kidney function and disease

Thank you all for volunteering to take part! If you haven’t contacted us yet, but you would like to take part in this exciting project, please email us at: Thank you!

Science Communication Training Day 2014

20140012 Science Communication Training Day_Flyer_PROOF (2)
The Biochemical Society, Society for Experimental Biology, Society for General Microbiology and the Society of Biology are partnering to organize a unique bioscience communication Training Day for doctoral students and early career researchers.

The Training Day is aimed at doctoral students and early career researchers who want to develop their science communication ideas in a practical setting. This event will enhance your skills in communicating science to schools and the general public, to help demonstrate the impact and benefits of your research. Attendees will be shown innovative activities and examples of best practice for engaging with a broader audience.

Application deadline: 1 May 2014

Attendance at the Science Communication Training Day is by application only and FREE of charge for members of the organizing Societies, £35 for non members.

More information at:

STEM careers event a success

On 20th November we hosted a “Biomedicine” hands-on workshop at the STEM careers day at the Gateshead College. The workshop generated a lot of interest in the research at the IGM and was very well received. For details of the event and how to get involved in the future please visit here.

International Writing Competition open to PhD students and PostDocs

Access to Understanding is a prestigious, international science-writing competition aimed at PhD students and early career post-doctoral researchers, developed by Europe PubMed Central and The British Library.  The winner will receive an iPad and have their entry published in eLife.

For more information:


Access to Understanding is supported by the Europe PubMed Central Funders Group.

Opening up your research

Come along to the Baddiley Clark Seminar Room between 4 and 5pm on Monday 18th November to hear more about the opportunities for researchers that include national competitions, prestigious prize lectures and paid opportunities to work with undergraduates developing their public engagement.

To view the flyer please visit:

To book a place please visit: