Every year, public health scientists from Cambridge join the Cambridge Science Festival to show you their latest research and explain how they are working towards tackling some of our most pressing public health issues.
The festival programme for 2018 features hundreds of mostly free talks, exhibitions and hands-on events – including many from our Cambridge Institute of Public Health and PublicHealth@Cambridge Network members.
This year’s public health events cover a huge range of topics, here are some highlights from our members:
Life in a network: molecular organisation to social networks (Wednesday 14 March)
Nearly all aspects of human life can be structured as a network. These networks hold information concerning how complex systems function/fail, and what changes are needed to improve our quality of life. Dr Goylette Chami, Department of Pathology, highlights one application—the treatment of human intestinal worms in Uganda.
Making sense of our unhealthy behaviour (Friday 16 March)
Why do we persist in engaging in unhealthy behaviour despite valuing our health highly? Why don’t governments do more to make these behaviours less likely? Is a better public understanding of the non-conscious nature of much of human behaviour core to more effective approaches to improving health? Join Professor Theresa Marteau, Director of the Behaviour and Health Research Unit, to discuss these questions and more.
Making sense of statistics (Saturday 17 March)
Discover how the MRC Biostatistics Unit at the University of Cambridge turns data into knowledge to help us understand what is going on in the world. Find out whether you can throw better than statisticians in a game of probability, and be bamboozled by a Monty Hall game.
It takes a village to build a healthier future (Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 March)
Join scientists at the MRC Epidemiology Unit and Centre for Diet and Activity Research to understand the factors that influence our health and wellbeing – including the variations in our genes, how we eat and get about, the people we know and the places where we live.
Does the patient hold the key? (Sunday 18 & Sunday 25 March)
Take part in an interactive exhibit where you will be challenged to help THIS Institute (The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute) to improve a handover between the ambulance team and A&E. Time is ticking and you need to help the casualty. But where is the trolley? Where is a nurse? The casualty is asking for pain relief. Who can help? Does the patient know best? Join them to check the evidence.
Stellar line up explores why genomics is the future of medicine (Wednesday 21 March)
Professor Mary Dixon-Woods, Director of The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute, joins a panel to debate where genomic medicine will take us and what does it mean for the patient?
Want to be healthier? Let us change your environment… (Sunday 25 March)
From designing age friendly cities for our ageing population, to nudging us into healthier behaviours to implementing policies that influence our food and alcohol choices, Cambridge public health researchers have been studying environmental interventions as powerful tools that encourage us to lead healthier lives. At this panel discussion, researchers will discuss the complex factors which influence our health choices, focusing on changes that can be made to our environment. Audience members will then have the opportunity to raise questions, and discuss the pros, cons, ethics and impacts of these interventions. Hosted by Cambridge Institute of Public Health in collaboration with our members.
The BHRU Food Driving Test (Sunday 25 March)
Can you steer your way through a series of food and drink challenges, or will you be knocked off course? Come and join the Behaviour and Health Research Unit team to test how food savvy you are!
Making sense of medication taking (Sunday 25 March)
What is this tablet for? What if I forget to take it? What should I do if I’m having side effects? Sometimes, we just need a helping hand to make sense of how to take our medications, especially between our doctor’s appointments. Join researchers involved in the MAPS (Medication Adherence for Patient Support) intervention, which aims to help make medication taking an easier process, for a chance to share your thoughts, opinions, and recommendations.
Do you want to be a doctor (Sunday 25 March)
Join Dr Kinnary Martin and see if you can help her make a diagnosis in her on-stage GP surgery! You’ll see real-life ‘patients’ and real-life signs of illness. Decide what to do next and see if you can work out what’s wrong. Free stethoscopes for the most promising new GPs!
For further details of these events and more, or to book tickets, visit the Cambridge Science Festival website.