Brain Diaries

Visitors engaging with 3D printed brains in Brain Diaries exhibition at the Museum of Natural History

Museum of Natural History and Oxford Neuroscience

Brian Diaries is an exhibition at the Museum of Natural History, with an accompanying public event programme; online digital resources including an animation by Oxford Sparks, developed in partnership with Oxford Neuroscience.

The exhibition presents current understanding of the healthy brain from pre-birth to old age, while the public programme explores translational and clinical neuroscience research. The exhibition also promoted active public participation in research, enabling visitors to take part in research studies and contribute new ideas for brain investigators. For blind and partially visitors, there is a hands on exhibition tour using 3D printed brains for a tactile experience.

Building Capacity for Public Engagement with Reserch
​The project is the latest and largest installment of the museum's Contemporary Science and Society series, enabling researchers at all career levels to leverage the museum's experience and skills in public engagement, while accessing the museum's public to engage in their research.

Researchers appear on the interactive video Q&A screens in the exhibition, giving visitors the opportunity to interact 'face to face' via digital means; and the live event programme enables visitors to engage with a greater number of researchers directly.

Outcomes and Impacts

​More than 150 research scientists from four University departments and over 20 support staff have contributed to Brain Diaries.

Launched in March 2017, the programme and exhibition has reached an audience of more than 45,000 people from Oxfordshire and beyond in its first two months of opening.

The project exemplifies the power and value of collaborative working between the museum and academic departments.

​"We all look forward to the opportunity to engage with the public through the museums. It is particularly useful for younger researchers to have to develop ways of conveying complex information and I knoy they always find it very rewarding." ​Christopher Kennard, Head of Medical Science Division and Emeritus Professor of Clinical Neurology

Funded by:​ The Negaunee Foundation and Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund

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