Scientists kidnapped! What will you do?

It’s a terrifying situation. Scientists kidnapped! Our crack team of malaria experts has been taken from a conference. They’re on the eve of announcing a major breakthrough. Someone else might take their research! If you haven’t yet done what is needed, we suggest you stop reading the internet and get on with solving the crime!

If you’ve managed to do everything that needs to be done, now you can read ahead…


Okay, we admit it – we may have made the situation up. If the acting on the Skope call wasn’t a clue, we don’t know what is! But why?

We’re interested in letting lots of different people engage with science. Some people like to do that through events like lectures and talks. Others like art, or theatre, or music. We have a few folks on our team who really like games, and we think there are other people out there who do too. So, we’ve been working on ways to gamify our work.

It’s a fun, but actually really challenging thing to do. How many puzzles does it take? Will people understand them? Does everything need to be relevant, or are a few red herrings okay?

We’re now at the point where, after over a year of work, we’re trying our escape game out for real, as you may have seen. We were lucky to work with Agent November in the development process – they gave us some amazing advice. If you get a chance to go along to one of their own escape rooms we’d highly recommend it! This was also another great moment when we got to work closely with public engagement colleagues at the School of Life Sciences, particularly Erin Hardee. One of the key aims for the Centre is to benefit from and provide benefit to the School. This was definitely one of those synergistic moments.

What we hope we’ve reached is something that’s fun, but challenging. It’s imaginative, but not a million miles from reality. We may have simplified some of our molecules, but the process should really reflect the research that we do here at WCAIR. If you’ve been along, let us know what you thought about it!