What's the Grey Matter with Gregory? Institute team join school outreach event
Institute researchers Prof Neil Evans, Dr Michelle Bellingham & Dr Jane Robinson have been introducing high school students to the science of hormones in a public engagement project funded by the Wellcome Trust. ‘What’s the Grey Matter with Gregory’ is a collaboration between Cinelive and BFI Education to provide an immersive educational cinema event for 12–15 yr olds, based on the film Gregory’s Girl—Bill Forsyth’s 1981 cult classic about awkward adolescent romance.
The production, which has toured ten locations in the UK, uses local researchers to help deliver key elements of the event. Our own researchers joined local school students in two productions, in Inverness and Edinburgh, where they find themselves in the setting of 'Abronhill High School' (the school depicted in the film).
Abronhill High School appears to be gripped by an outbreak of flirtatiousness among its pupils. The participating students take the role of scientists from the Department for the Investigation of Amorous Disorders (D.I.A.D.), who are called in to investigate the outbreak. To complete their training the D.I.A.D. scientists work with our experts so they can identify what is happening to the Abronhill High pupils.
Prof Neil Evans, Dr Michelle Bellingham & Dr Jane Robinson ran workshops with the student scientists to examine the different theories of how hormones and neurotransmitters affect human behaviour with regard to attraction.
Using observations of Abronhill High School pupil behaviour, the D.I.A.D. team then develop logical hypotheses that explain different behaviours using, before agreeing on which they think is correct and why.
The event provides a great opportunity to meet real experts in the field of endocrinology, and explore the current scientific basis of love and attraction—all to the back drop of a classic British film and a dance-off to the Human League’s ‘Don't you want me baby?’
First published: 28 January 2016