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Einstein’s Garden at the Green Man Festival - 2017

In August 2017, MRC scientists took to the Brecon Beacons for a four-day public engagement extravaganza – bringing together science, art and nature – in Einstein’s Garden at the Green Man Festival.

In true festival spirit, researchers from the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol partnered with a group of designers from MAKE//SHIFT to share their ‘Party Animals’ installation with the general public. Festival-goers were tasked with completing a series of six party games inspired by the research that takes place within the Health Behaviour programme at the unit. The games were developed around topics such as emotional recognition and health interventions. Based on the outcome of each game, those who took part pieced together different elements of their party animal until their unique character was formed.

Jasmine Khouja, a PhD student who delivered the project, said: “Developing the installation really challenged our creative thinking and approach to engagement by exploring exciting and interesting ways to explain our research through games.”

The fun didn’t stop there, as researchers from the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at UCL enlisted the help of artists to create ‘Tangle’; an activity designed to represent how scientists gather the threads of people’s lives and weave them together to answer research questions. More than 600 people answered questions on variables such as memory and health behaviours and made their own life course out of strands of coloured fabric. As well as the visual impact of the display, researchers gained an insight into what people value when maintaining their quality of life.