University of Glasgow researchers make an impact in 60 seconds to win science storytelling award

November 20, 2015

Edinburgh based informatics company, Aridhia, today announced the winners of its first Impact in Sixty Seconds competition, in partnership with The University of Glasgow College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences (MVLS) and Glasgow City of Science.

Early-career researchers from MVLS were invited to submit an engaging, dynamic and compelling 60 second video illuminating an aspect of their research. This was an opportunity for students to present their work in simple terms that anyone could understand, even the general public.

The award recognises the importance of engagement and communication between innovative collaborations in the field of medical science. It promotes the pivotal role of open innovation in preparing UK researchers to face future challenges when undertaking collaborative research.

Executive Chairman of Aridhia, David Sibbald said: “Much like data, science and industry shouldn’t exist in silos. They influence and inform each other, and together have the ability to help us understand the world, drive innovation into practice, enrich society and power the economy.

“In this increasingly collaborative world, open innovation in life sciences is rapidly becoming accepted as standard, and as a result there is increasing employer demand for excellent communicators and critical thinking skills. This competition has demonstrated that the University of Glasgow’s researchers are ready to embrace communication and collaboration with industry, and effectively contribute to a more productive and sustainable open innovation ecosystem.”

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With three lucrative cash prizes on offer, the competition was fierce. The judging panel included representatives from the University of Glasgow, Aridhia and Glasgow City of Science. Many contestants took a creative approach to their entry, using stop-frame animation and humour to present their research.

PhD student Alex Binks took first place, with his video “You are terminated! Reprogramming viruses to kill cancer cells” reflecting the important work he is undertaking to find a way to use viruses to treat cancer more effectively. Dr Amber Yu and Natasha Lewis, PhD student, took second and third place respectively.

Around 100 attendees enjoyed an evening of fascinating talks from an array of experts in their research fields, culminating with the awards presentation by Aridhia’s David Sibbald and Dr Carol Clugston, College Secretary of the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences.

The programme director of Glasgow City of Science, Dr Susie Mitchell, was delighted with the events of the evening. She said: “Glasgow City of Science is proud to support inspirational projects like the ‘Impact in 60 Seconds’ competition that promote creative approaches to public engagement in science.

“Glasgow City of Science developed the 60 second film model for the European Science TV and New Media Festival and we were delighted that our partners, the University of Glasgow and Aridhia, could use this as the basis for this exciting project.”

She added: “The creative industries – film, art, music, theatre – has the ability story-tell, inspire and emotionally connect science with the wider public and help them to appreciate how science can impact directly on their lives and the decisions they make.

“I have been overwhelmed with the quality of the films produced and I hope new skills acquired by the researchers will help to communicate their passion for science to public audiences in the future.”

Dr Carol Clugston, College Secretary at MVLS, said: “‘The College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow is delighted to partner with Aridhia and Glasgow City of Science to showcase the research of our Early Career Researchers.

“We are committed to ensuring that all our research can make a constructive difference that will ultimately benefit society. Working with industry partners like Aridhia, and partnering in projects such as ‘Impact in 60 seconds’ and ‘Images on the Clyde’, enables our research to be disseminated widely through knowledge exchange and public engagement, and helps to ensure that it has maximum impact on society, the economy, culture, health, and the environment.

“We have been very impressed with the quality of entries to the ‘Impact in 60 seconds’ competition. Our three worthy winners have each made fantastic, highly professional videos that illuminate their research topics in an engaging, dynamic and compelling way. These young researchers have been able to explain complex scientific topics in under a minute, a skill that will be essential in their future research careers.”

You can view the three winning videos at Aridhia’s Impact in Sixty Seconds Winner playlist.

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