The Living Laboratory at ARCadia Festival!

Published: 11 October 2022

The Living Laboratory was proud to host two exciting activities at The University of Glasgow’s ARCadia Festival of Ideas.

The Living Laboratory was proud to host two exciting activities at The University of Glasgow’s ARCadia Festival of Ideas.

The festival welcomed members of the public from across Glasgow and beyond to the newly opened Mazumdar-Shaw Advanced Research Centre (ARC). The two-week festival played host to more than 65 free, all-ages events hosted by students and staff from the University of Glasgow and community partners. 

A collection of hand drawn images depicting the discussions from the date with data session

The Living Laboratory partnered with the University of Glasgow’s Polyomics group and BioClavis to host an activity during the Big Weekend Friday event, and welcomed over 100 visitors to our stall. The family event offered the opportunity for both children and adults to learn about transcriptomics, exploring how transcriptomics can be used in research to help find new ways to diagnose and treat diseases. The event opened dialogue between families and researchers, creating a space for attendees to ask researchers questions and even put their new understanding to the test by drawing some transcriptomic data on a cookie.

Following the success of this first event, the Living Laboratory was delighted to host the 'A Date with Data’ public and patient event. Partnering with the University of Glasgow’s Public and Patient Involvement and Engagement group, the event explored the use of healthcare data in research. The session aimed to demystify healthcare data for participants whilst creating an opportunity to learn and understand the views and experiences of participants and discuss how this could help shape research.

The series of talks began with a history of healthcare data and the ethical discussions around this with Dr Christine Milligan before hearing from Professor Kevin Blyth who explored how data is used and protected in clinical research. We finally heard from Dr Charlie Mayor from the NHSGGC SafeHaven who spoke to attendees about the processes and systems of collecting, storing, anonymising and using healthcare data securely.

Following the introductory talks, there was an open discussion between researchers and attendees. The discussions were thought-provoking and explored a wide range of views including discussions around consent, privacy and concerns about data use. This open dialogue was very useful in allowing participants to feed their thoughts directly to researchers which could help shape programmes such as the Living Laboratory.

The Living Laboratory is extremely proud to have been a part of ARCadia, it was a fantastic opportunity for the programme to connect with the local community. Our programme is delivering innovations that will see local health benefits and it is vital that we share, discuss and work with local community and patient groups to ensure their voices are reflected in all aspects of our programme and to help shape the future of healthcare.

First published: 11 October 2022