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Research Expo 2017

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Expo - Henrike and Hus.jpg

Professor Henrike Lähnemann in the Chapel, showing a book to the audience of her Teddy Talk
Professor Henrike Lähnemann shows a copy of a 'banned book' by Jan Hus from the College library to the audience at the end of her Teddy Talk

February’s Research Expo once again saw various College spaces transformed into the Lab, the Salon and the Studio exhibition spaces, alongside a busy programme of ‘Teddy Talks’, a three-minute Pitch your Research competition and a debate on 2016 and its impact on higher education.

It was the second such event at St Edmund Hall, following on from the successful inaugural event in 2015, and was coordinated by Fellow and Lecturer in English, Jenni Nuttall. “Looking back at the photos makes me realise just how wonderfully the event came together and how well it did the job of sharing and communicating the research that we all do,” said Jenni. “Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to creating all of this from scratch, giving their time and expertise so willingly.”

Professor Heidi Johansen-Berg shows visitors to the Lab a neuroscience demonstration
Professor Heidi Johansen-Berg engages visitors to the Lab with a neuroscience demonstration

In the Lab (Doctorow Hall) this year, there was a wide range of activities – some organised by academics, and then also a particular focus on facilitating discussion of MCR members’ (postgraduate students) research areas, using a lot of the fun interactive activities developed by Oxford Hands-On Science (OxHOS) as a starting point. “Visitors to the Lab, ranging from the families of the Hall community, to academics in other fields and fellow Hall scientists, got involved in hands-on activities and conversations about a range of topics including how the immune system combats infection, cancer immunotherapy, genetics, and materials science,” explained Beatrice Tyrrell (2014, DPhil in Infection, Immunology and Translational Medicine). “It was an enjoyable afternoon engaging with people outside our disciplines, bringing new perspective to our work.”

A printing demonstration in the Salon
The printing workshop in the Salon

Across the College, in the Old Dining Hall, the Salon offered a lively mix of displays and demonstrations from the humanities and social sciences. This included a printing workshop, giving visitors the opportunity to use a table-top printing press to print the first of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses (published in Wittenberg in 1517). Timo Bülters (DPhil in Medieval German) helped to run the workshop and said, “I really enjoyed being involved in the Expo because it was not only fun to show how printing worked in the Middle Ages but also a good way to bring our research to a broader community and to see that even nowadays many people are interested and want to know more about the development of the history of the book, printing and the Middle Ages.”

Postgraduate student Jaz Hill-Valler gives a Teddy Talk in the Pontigny Room
Postgraduate student Jaz Hill-Valler gives a Teddy Talk in the Pontigny Room

Second-year Fine Art undergraduates organised an art exhibition in the Senior Common Room, in which they produced works in response to pieces in the Hall’s art collection. There were also four sessions of Teddy Talks, in which academics and postgraduate students each spoke for ten minutes on an aspect of their research, all aimed at a non-specialist audience. Videos of the talks will be available online soon.

'Cuddly microbes' in the Lab
'Cuddly microbes' in the Lab

Esther Rathbone (2013, French and German) volunteered on the day as an Expo steward, and explained that, “I wanted to get involved because the Expo is a great opportunity to showcase all the research going on at the Hall. And, since I don't do any research as an undergrad, helping out with the organisation was a way I could still feel involved. I enjoyed the Teddy Talks, particularly the ten-minute format, which also didn't presuppose any knowledge so was still understandable to non-specialists.”

Humanities and Social Sciences activities in the Salon
Humanities and Social Sciences activities in the Salon

The day concluded in the Wolfson Hall, with students taking part in the Pitch your Research competition, our version of a three-minute thesis contest, followed by the debate. “I thought that the round table discussion on what 2016 means for higher education was an extremely valuable part of the day,” said JCR President, Amelia Gabaldoni (2015, English), “especially considering the equal involvement of members of all three common rooms. The day as a whole was particularly interesting for JCR members as it shows a side to the college that we don't often get to see or experience.”

See all the photos from the 2017 event on Flickr.

The Research Expo is now a biennial event in the College calendar.

Thanks to all the members of the 2017 Expo Committee: Martin Brandt (JCR Academic Affairs Officer), Pip Coore (MCR, Pontigny Scholar), Thomas Cosnahan (MCR), Ben Fernando (MCR Academic Affairs Officer), Mattéa Finelli (SCR), Amelia Gabaldoni (JCR President), Claire Hooper (Communications Officer), Corinna Kulicke (MCR), Luke Maw (Schools Liaison Officer), Jenni Nuttall (SCR), Beatrice Tyrrell (MCR), Sareh Vosooghi (SCR), John Waite (MCR, Pontigny Scholar) and Linde Wester (MCR President).

Take a look at the programme for the 2017 Expo here.