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February 2012 public engagement events


February may bring on relentless wintry chills, but the activity of the Trust’s public engagement awards programme shows no signs of cooling down this month. Here’s a summary of what is on offer over the coming weeks:

Your teeth will grind if you miss the chance to meet Gina Czarnecki at the Bluecoat galleries in Liverpool this Saturday (4 February, 2-3.30pm). The award-winning artist has a free exhibit featuring films, artwork and sculptures to highlight human relationships with disease, evolution and genetics. Plus you can see her at work on the Palaces sculpture, which contains hundreds of milk teeth donated by children from all over the UK.

Let Sara Rankin bring you up to speed on stem cell research at another Bluecoat event on Wednesday 8 February (4.30-5.30pm). The Imperial College London professor gives a gentle introductory talk on the topic, entitled ‘Everything you need to know about stem cells – a beginner’s guide for the non-scientist’. Given Sara’s past work with Gina Czarnecki on the Wasted sculpture series (on display at the Bluenote until 19th February), this talk should be a vivid affair. The event is free, but advance booking is necessary.

Also on Wednesday 8 February (6-7.30pm) at the Bluecoat, both Sara and Gina will be guest speakers at a debate asking: ‘Should living people be able to donate their own human tissue to art?’ This is also free to attend, and you can book places in advance here.

‘Stand-up mathematician’ Matt Parker and comedian Timandra Harkness are taking on lies, damn lies, and laughable statistics in their new show ‘Your Days Are Numbered’. Find joy in their paean to bizarre health-related figures and the oft-crazy reporting based on these. The tour begins at the Exeter Phoenix on 8 February, with plenty of dates across the country throughout the month and in April.

Have you ever wondered how you manage to stay tuned in to one conversation amidst a sea of noise at a party? The Clerks will explain all about the cocktail party effect (more technically termed as ‘auditory streaming’) during their choral performance Roger go to Yellow Three, taking place at St Paul’s Hall in Huddersfield on 9 February.  You can hear the group discuss their project beforehand on BBC Radio 3 at 12.15pm on 4 February.

Air Pressure, an immersive multimedia installation at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, tells the rousing story of a hardy family of Japanese farmers who continue to ply their trade despite the opening of Narita International Airport on their doorstep in the 1970s. The exhibit is in place until 12 February.

The Anglia Ruskin Drama Studio in Cambridge plays host to MUST on 13 February. New York performance artist Peggy Shaw conducts an artistic analysis of her own body to see what ghosts of the past she can exhume from the cracks and creases of her joints and bones. Another performance takes place at the Glasgow Western Infirmary Creative Space on 16 February.

Immerse your faculties in a ‘Flavour Sense-Nation’ at the Brighton Science Festival on Saturday 18 February. Funded by a Wellcome Trust People Award made to ActionDog, the exhibit explores the science behind taste, touch, smell, sight and sound, along with the complex reactions that occur when our senses collide.

The evening of Wednesday 29 February sees the Lates series return to London’s Science Museum for an interactive foray into the world of surgery. The Science of Surgery event includes the People Award-funded ‘Your heart in their hands or your hands in their heart’: a simulation of a coronary angiography procedure to image and treat arterial blockages. Audience members can experience the procedure as part of the surgical team or from the perspective of the patient. Professor Roger Kneebone (a veteran of surgery reenactments who we’ve blogged about before) will discuss the history and future of surgery, and describe how the expertise of other professionals—from musicians to taxi drivers—have influenced surgical practice over the ages.

Still on

Several films by Daria Martin are currently showing at the MK Gallery until 8 April. Her latest piece ‘Sensorium Tests’ delves into the remarkable world of people who experience mirror-touch synaesthesia, a condition that results in individuals feeling sensations of contact when seeing others around them being touched.

Going Dark, a theatrical experience following astronomer Max, asks whether the best way to view and explore the heavens is in fact in total darkness. You can read more in our blog post about it. The show is on a national tour throughout February and March.

Fuel Theatre’s Body Pods are a series of podcasts by artists and scientists, posted monthly throughout 2012. Each one will divulge all sorts of grisly details about one part of the body. Last month’s edition, the Ear, was featured on the Guardian’s Science Weekly podcast. Check Fuel Theatre’s site next week for an installment addressing the heart.

Advanced notice

In Autobiographer, Melanie Wilson uses lyrical text, immersive staging and an enigmatic performance style to reveal a portrait of a life refracted through the lens of dementia. The show takes place at London’s Toynbee Studios from 17 April to 5 May.

Fatigue has never looked sexier than in Richard Fenwick’s new film Exhaustion, which chronicles a professional athlete’s physical state throughout an intense workout in super slow motion (the film was shot at 4000 frames per minute). Catch the premier at the AV Festival in Newcastle at 6.30pm on 11 March.

And finally, Caroline Horton will test run her new play Mess, which addresses the harrows of anorexia, as part of the Bite Size Festival at Warwick Arts Centre on 10 March.

Many thanks to our Senior Public Engagement Advisor Tom Ziessen and Arts Advisor Meroë Candy for the information.

Dylan Williams

Filed under: Event, Public Engagement, Public engagement events listing, Science Art, Science Communication Tagged: Actiondog, Anorexia. Blindness, Autobiographer, Brighton Science Festival, Comedy, Exhibitions, Fatigue, Flavour, Fuel Theatre, Gina Czarnecki, Going Dark, Mathematics, Maths, Matt Parker, Melanie Wilson, Play, Professor Roger Kneebone, Public Engagement, Sara Rankin, Science Museum, Stem cells, Surgery, Theatre, Timandra Harkness

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