As a part of Sheffield’s Festival of Science and Engineering, MultiSim hosted a number of public engagement sessions entitled “Dem bones gonna walk around”.
These sessions proved to be a hit with the general public and many were fully booked weeks in advance. Researchers demonstrated to the public how their measurements and multiscale simulations will be used in the hospital of the future. Participants visited Insigneo’s Gait Laboratory, based at the Mappin complex, University of Sheffield to learn how computer models of physical activities can be developed to predict the risk of osteoporotic bone fracture. Participants had an opportunity to:
- interact with the motion capture systems and force plates;
- find which muscles in a simulated leg were required to kick a football;
- look at bone cells through a microscope.
MultiSim is entirely funded by public money through a Research Council grant. Professor Damien Lacroix, Director of the MultiSim project commented “This activity provided an opportunity to enter into a dialogue with the public about our research by explaining how and why our research is important and relevant to the public, and to enthuse curiosity about science from an early age. The learning process was not just one way! Our staff feel this experience has helped them become much better at communicating complex scientific ideas in an accessible manner. A skill they feel has many applications from writing papers and grant applications to preparing conference presentations.”