Wellcome / EPSRC Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences


Science of Surgery

Science of Surgery welcomed over 300 public visitors to WEISS on 12 April to take part in interactive activities exploring how research across the centre advancing modern surgery & interventions.

Interested in this year's Science of Surgery?

Find out more on our 2022 Event page.

On Friday 12 April the Wellcome/EPSRC Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences (WEISS) welcomed over 300 members of the public to ‘Science of Surgery’, a fun filled, interactive afternoon of activities demonstrating how science and engineering at the centre is changing surgery.

Taking place inside Charles Bell House, the hub for WEISS research, the event featured sixteen different activity stations organised across major research areas and covering a wide range of topics, including sensors, imaging, 3D printing and robotics.

Read our full evaluation report to learn more about our aims, activities and see even more feedback from people that developed and attended (there are more fantastic pictures from the day as well!)

These included magic tricks to demonstrate the tricky nature of selecting and using medical data, give-it-a-go mock robotic surgery, using plastic grabbers and webcams to show the challenges of laparoscopic surgery, through to using paints to replicate cell samples and chances to use a real da Vinci system!

“Absolutely amazing, staff were wonderful, approachable and knowledgeable, thank you” Science of Surgery Visitor

Over 300 people visited Science of Surgery over a packed four hours, with almost 50% of respondents living in Camden and neighbouring boroughs, with the highest concentration of visitors being from Camden and Harringay. The event attracted a wide range of ages, from younger children and teenagers to parents and older people. The centre was able to reach people beyond usual university networks partly through conversations with local community groups and schools who helped to promote Science of Surgery locally. 

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Bg-nHMZ-R0&t

The activities were developed by each of the WEISS major ‘platform’ research projects, with a dedicated activity lead from each project's team managing their response and bringing together over 50 members of the centre on the day to take part. By designing the activities to be interactive and fun, event staff were able to break down concepts for younger visitors while discussing research themes with those looking for more detail. 
“We didn’t only inspire the children but I think they also inspired us and gave us motivation and positive energy to do our research.  I will definitely join the team again next year. Bow Chaipanichkul, PhD Student

Many of the WEISS leadership attended the event, including Director David Hawkes, who said “This has been a fantastic event. The booths were all excellent and managed to provide fun coupled with important messages as to how technology helps the surgeon - all to a wide range of ages, both adults and children, and many members of our local community (and wider!).”

The event was organised by the WEISS Public Engagement Coordinator Dan Taylor, “It’s been fantastic to see the enthusiasm and delight on the faces of not just the visitors to Science of Surgery but also our centre staff that have been busy developing some incredible activities over the last few months. This is an important way for the whole centre to explore the work we do with the public and for us to hear their questions and views – hopefully paving the way for further public engagement with research across our work”

The event is part of a varied public engagement programme at the centre, giving the opportunity for centre staff to develop research communication skills while providing a platform for the centre to reach out to local organisations. If you would like to hear more about Science of Surgery, or public engagement at WEISS, please contact our Public Engagement and Patient Involvement Manager, Dan Taylor.

Read our full evaluation report here or contact Dan Taylor for a hard copy.