History museum

Science in the spotlight at the Natural History Museum as Oxford University researchers and civic groups celebrate their collaboration

A PEDAL-powered smoothie was on the menu during a fun day at the museum that brought together Oxford researchers and community groups.

Tuesday’s day of workshops and activities at the Natural History Museum ended with an evening recounting various collaborations between scientists from Oxford and Oxford Brookes University and organizations across the city.

One such organization, Oxford Neighborhood Watch, worked with university researchers to survey townspeople about their experiences with bike theft.

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Maggie Lewis, Oxford Neighborhood Watch area representative, said of the ‘Science Together’ collaboration: “The word ‘science’ filled me with dread – Bunsen burners, nothing to do with my teenage life and Totally boring lesson at school. But science together [has been] a fantastic experience.”

Professor David De Roure, from the Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, added: “This collaboration has been brilliant. She inspired me to look at things in new ways, have new conversations, and get great information. I don’t think it could have been any other way – it was a unique and rewarding experience.

Researchers from Oxford Brookes worked with the charity Daybreak, which runs day clubs for people with dementia. Scientists evaluated how therapeutic art classes can improve the well-being of people with the disease.

Lead researcher Dr Clare Rathbone said it was a “pleasure and a privilege” to work with Daybreak.

This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as a forensic and crime reporter from Oxfordshire.

To contact him, email: [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward