blogging the latest developments in microbiology

Event Review: Crafty little bacteria

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A species unknown to science

Last week I had the pleasure of attending an event mixing craftwork with bacteriology. It sounds like an odd combination, but was in fact the latest in a series of outreach events organised by Science London.

Joining 50 other people in London’s Drink, Shop & Do cafe, I arrived with my pals from the British Science Association to find tables festooned with felt, thread, and glitter. Our task was to create a bacterium from what was available to us. You can see some of our efforts in the photos below; mine is the expertly crafted blue circle with glued-on eyes and multi-coloured flagella. Prizes were available for the best creation. I did not win a prize. The winner did use some purple thread to Gram-stain his effort, which I thought was rather clever.

In addition to the craft, there was a quiz all about microbiology. I did not win the quiz. I got over my embarrassment with the aid of G&T pecan pie, so all was well…

I must say I had a great time. The room was full and everyone seemed to be getting involved. I grabbed a quick word with Manisha Lalloo, Treasurer for Science London (at the time laden down with bags overflowing with paper and felt). I asked her about the reasoning behind the event and why they’d chosen bacteriology as a theme.

“We’re really trying to get people interested in science — especially those that might not otherwise give it a second thought. We’re using the craft and the cuddly bacteria to get everyone having fun, that way we can sneak them a little science at the same time!”

My creation has taken pride of place on a shelf in the living room. My flatmate (a terrific designer) was supportive of my efforts: “Well done, Benjamin, that’s very, um, nice — I didn’t think bacteria had eyes though?”

My influence is rubbing off.

Posted by: Benjamin Thompson

Image Credits: Farrah Nazir



Written by Benjamin Thompson

30/06/2011 at 12:15 pm

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