Projects

We want to meet with varied people, so we have a variety of projects of all different shapes and sizes.

With the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, we have developed an exiting new exhibition with the National Museum of Scotland. Closer to home, we work with Dundee Science Centre and Stobswell Forum to be a part of the annual Stobfest celebration. As part of Dundee Science Festival, we have even worked with tonic and Absinthe makers to explore links between science and sipping.

If you have an idea for working with us, drop us a line, or click on our projects to find out more.

Recent projects include…

Artist Emily Fong demonstrates an unusual banana phone

Artist not-quite-in-residence

As part of our science art programme, we’ve started working with the fantastic artist Emily Fong to explore how research is coping and adapting to a world with Covid-19. She’ll be creating works that we’ll feature here on our website over the coming weeks and months.

Find out more…

Sketch Illustration Mock up of the Physic Garden

The WeeCAIR Medicinal Garden

Where do medicines come from? Many medicines that are used today come from the active ingredients found in plants that would have been used in traditional herbal remedies. The well-known painkiller, aspirin comes from willow bark, and artemisinins the malaria treatment, comes from sweet wormwood.
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We are creating a public garden with many of these types of plants. All the plants in the garden have an active ingredient which medicine is made from.
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Digital Storytelling

What’s one of the oldest ways of communicating information?

Storytelling has been around for thousands of years. However, the way humans tell stories has changed and adapted from cave painting through to printed books and changed again for a digital world.

Find out how our researchers have been telling their own stories just for you. You can even discover the tale of the world’s first toilet paper shortage!

Find out more…

The Science Trading Game

Exciting news! You’ve been selected to attend a new online conference. You’ve got lots of great assets that you can share, but you’ve also got a load of challenging tasks to complete. Can you successfully manage to achieve your team’s goals while also fulfilling your own ambitions?

This new online game will test your resolve and negotiating skills, and may give you a surprising new insight into the complex work of scientific research and collaboration…

Find out more…

A metabolic map of parasite pathways

Escaping, in the comfort of your own home

We spent a great deal of time developing Diagnosis: kidnapped. It’s an escape game where people can come into our labs, dig through our books and save an erstwhile team of scientists from evil-doers.

Of course, with the Covid-19 pandemic, we can’t do in-person events like this. This hasn’t stopped us from taking the game into a new, online, realm.

Find out more…

David Gray shows a group of visitors around the WCAIR labs

Take a distanced lab tour!

We may not be able to let folks into our labs on a regular basis, but we still want to show them off. That’s partly because they’re world-class, and partly because we think it’s really interesting to see the equipment and the people in there.

Thanks to power of Google maps, we can! We’ve had our labs photographed in great detail, and applied some handy info bubbles to help guide you.

Find out more…

People gather in our gallery for the exhibition opening

Translations: from laboratory to print studio

As one of our science art projects, we worked with the Dundee Print Collective to create a new series of works. We took print into the realm of sculpture, and scientists into the realm of becoming artists. Over 18 months a new collective was formed and we’re delighted with the results.

The exhibition is in LifeSpace gallery now, as part of our science art programme.

Find out more…

PhD student Julia Wcislo looks for parasites hidden in organs of the body

Parasites: Battle for Survival

A project 4 years in development, we’re delighted to announce that our brand new exhibition is open at the National Museum of Scotland. Developed in partnership with colleagues from the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, it takes a very contemporary look at the world-leading research Scottish scientists are undertaking to battle these deadly diseases.

Join us in the Museum’s largest free exhibition space and discover what we do. You’ll even get the chance to work out what kind of parasite you would be…

Find out more…

The Medicine Maker badge

Medicine Maker badge

 

A group of our scientists have been hard at work for Girlguiding participants in Dundee and beyond! Our ‘Medicine Maker’ badge has been introducing girls and women to the hugely varied work WCAIR does. They can explore how our scientists work, take part in experiments and discover some of the amazing contributions made by women in science.

We’ve also had some exciting events with Girlguiding. This included a day in LifeSpace and being a major venue in Wander the World, a city-scale wide game for World Thinking Day 2020.

Find out more…

Diagnosis: kidnapped!

The escape game phenomenon has been sweeping the UK lately. They’re filled with challenges and puzzles…just like the research we do at WCAIR.

Developed in partnership with Agent November, this escape room experience will force you to think quickly. Scientists have been kidnapped and there’s not much time! Can you reconstruct their research in time to save them, and get their new malaria cure out for $1 a treatment? You’ll have to solve their clues and join the dots to solve this riddle.

Find out more…

Police at Stobfest 2019 Gala Day playing Drug Discovery Snakes and Ladders

Stobfest

Along with our friends at Dundee Science Centre, we took part in Stobfest 2018. As part of the gala day, we delivered science fun in the Boomerang Centre on Kemback Street. We had a great day and, naturally, we also took part in 2019’s event.

For 2020, WCAIR has been providing a great deal of communications support to the Stobswell Forum. Sadly, Stobfest 2020 has had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but we’re still maintaining strong links with our partners.

Find out more…

A map of cities connected to each other, forming the world

Heal the World!

WCAIR faces challenges that are worldwide, and we wanted to create a fun, engaging experience to let audiences feel some of that. We’re fans of the idea of gamification, so we knew that was an option. Of course, games can be table-sized and competitive, and science is large-scale and collaborative…

Enter Heal the World. In this giant, room-sized board game, we simulate some of the problems we’re trying to solve.

Find out more…

 

Members of Dundee Rep Play in a week 2018 rehearser their show

Engage: Influx

WCAIR is fortunate to share a city with one of the finest theatre companies in the world. Working with the Dundee Rep Engage team, we invited a group of young people to devise a new piece of theatre, inspired by our science and our building. Their talent and creativity were extraordinary and we hope this is the first of many such collaborations.

Dundee Science Festival

In both 2017 and 2018 WCAIR has been a key part of Street Food. We ran this adult-focused event with the School of Life Sciences’ public engagement team. It explores the fascinating, surprising and delicious links between food and research.

In 2019 we had a fabulous weekend in Dundee Science Centre, engaging with families from the city and beyond. Two of our fantastic professors also gave a great lunchtime talk. In 2020 we took part digitally, celebrating our malaria research and new medicinal garden, with a special guest all the way from Malawi!

Dundee Festival of the Future

We took part in Festival of the Future in both 2018 and 2019. Each year, we ran one of our games.

2018 saw Heal the World, a collaborative, large-scale board game where teams have to save the world from a deadly disease outbreak. Prophetic!

In 2019, we ran our brand new escape room, Diagnosis: Kidnapped. With puzzles to be solved and scientists to be rescued, a fun and challenging time was had by all!