Science museum

A Cancer Revolution: What the experts think of the Science Museum’s new exhibition – Cancer Research UK

Have you ever wondered if plants can get cancer? Or even dinosaurs?

What about the way we treated cancers when we didn’t have access to modern medicine? Or what are the next steps to bring us closer to a world without cancer?

All these questions, and many more, are answered in Cancer Revolution: Science, innovation and hopea new exhibition at the Science Museum in London for which we were an expert partner.

From interactive elements that help you spot common cancer myths, to a huge 3D reconstruction of a tumor and its surroundings, to personal stories shared by people with cancer and their families, the exhibition offers an in-depth look at all aspects of cancer, from the first cases known to man to the future of treatment.

To hear from the experts, we spoke to Vivian Li, Group Leader of the Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Laboratory at the Francis Crick Institute, and Rupal Mistry, Research Information Manager here at Cancer Research UK, from their thoughts on the exhibition.

Part of the exhibition

The opening section of the exhibit, featuring the stories of people with cancer and their families

What do you think of the exhibition?

Vivian: “I think the the exhibition is fantastic. It is very well organized and structured to communicate high-level and cutting-edge science to the general public.

Rupal: “The exhibition is an excellent opportunity to share with the public, in a very creative way, the progress made in the field of cancer.

“For people from all walks of life, it really explains the science in a simple yet engaging way, so they understand why it’s important that we continue research.”

Dr. Vivian Li, Group Leader of the Stem Cell and Cancer Biology Laboratory at the Francis Crick Institute.

Dr. Vivian Li, Group Leader of the Stem Cell and Cancer Biology Laboratory at the Francis Crick Institute.

What do you think is the value of sharing and presenting research in an exhibition like this?

Vivian: “This type of cancer exhibit is a great idea. Cancer is no longer a taboo these days, so it is very important for us as cancer researchers to engage with the public and share what we are researching.

“I think it will definitely raise awareness about cancer, and it’s also fun to see what’s behind the scenes in a lab.”

Rupal: “Presenting research like this is really powerful. It’s a great way to engage all of the senses, from the visuals to the things you can hold and touch, to truly get the Cancer under control.

“People learn in all sorts of different ways, and an exhibit like this is for all types of people, regardless of how they learn, in a very simple way.”

Rupal Mistry, Research Information Manager at Cancer Research UK.

Rupal Mistry, Research Information Manager at Cancer Research UK.

What is your favorite part of the exhibition?

Rupal: “I would say my favorite section of the exhibit is the early cancer detection part.

“Scientists funded by Cancer Research UK have developed some truly innovative ways to find cancer earlier, from blood tests to advanced imaging techniques and even a sponge on a string.

“This section really highlights the creativity of our scientists and the ‘out of the box’ ideas they come up with to fight cancer from every angle.”

Silent Stories, a series of glass sculptures by artist Katherine Dowson

Silent Stories, a series of glass sculptures by artist Katherine Dowson cast from the molds of masks made for people receiving radiation therapy for head and neck cancer in 2010. The piece is accompanied by a soundscape voices of these people.

Do you think having exhibits like this helps young people get interested in cancer research and science?

Vivian: “Absolutely. The exhibition is open to all ages, from the youngest to the oldest. Lots of school aged kids will come here, I will bring my kids here for sure!

“I think it’s important for them to see what cancer research is all about, to hear the stories of cancer patients, and to see the equipment and technology used in cancer research. I think it can also inspire them to pursue scientific studies in the future.

Rupal: “This is all important information to share and use to educate the next generation. By engaging in an exhibition like this, they can really see the value in what researchers are doing, and maybe even inspire them to do something like this in the future.

Cancer Revolution: Science, innovation and hope is open at the Science Museum in London until January 2023.

You can book free tickets for the exhibition or discover other Cancer Revolution events at the museum here

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