UCL News


The Experiment: a new model for scientific research?

13 November 2014

A new model for scientific research is being piloted by UCL neuroscientists, who will be launching 'The Experiment' on Monday 24 November at a secret underground venue in Clerkenwell.

The Experiment

Participants in The Experiment will be not only subjects, but experimenters, observers, and audience members in an immersive experience.

"The Experiment merges TED talks, real research and a hot ticket, secret location alternate night out," explains UCL neuroscientist Dr Beau Lotto (UCL Institute of Ophthalmology), who is leading the project as part of the Lottolab Studio. "This is experiment as experience. It's where you come to better understand yourself. Ticket holders are invited to step into uncertainty and experience the process of seeing themselves see - an exploration of human perception, and oneself."

"The Experiment will be funded by people, for people, offering a unique experience with real scientific value," says Dr Lotto. "Participants will be involved in all parts of the research, from funding to future experiment design right and testing. With the support of anthropologists, psychologists, event producers, DJs, dancers and participants, we will conduct real scientific experiments throughout the experience. Isabel Behncke, an Oxford primatologist who studies bonobo behaviour, will be observing how people behave, and UCL's Eye Think Lab, led by Daniel Richardson, will be running their new study on group action.

"Throughout The Experiment, participants will be encouraged to pose new questions and suggest areas of study, which we can then look into incorporating in future Experiments. This will be the first of many, and everyone can be a part of it. Everyone can be a funder and a researcher, not just a participant. Everyone will be genuinely engaged in every aspect of The Experiment. This is a potential new model for scientific research, and we hope to expand on it in the coming years to develop even bigger and better Experiments."



  • The Experiment (Courtesy of Lottolab)