The Francis Crick Institute’s new exhibition, Craft & Graft: Making Science Happen, showcases the surprising roles of the people who work around the clock to make its life-changing research possible.
The free exhibition, which opens on 1 March 2019 until 30 November 2019, takes visitors behind the scenes to meet the technicians, engineers and specialists supporting science at Europe’s biggest biomedical research institute under one roof.
These technical teams prepare, process, make, mend, analyse and innovate. From fixing faults in complex cutting-edge technology to feeding fruit flies and operating robots, these individuals are essential to keep the labs running and science happening.
The exhibition shines a spotlight on five specialist teams who have opened their doors for the first time:
· The technicians feeding and breeding over 15,000 families of fruit flies. They are also trained to perform incredibly precise tasks including hand-injecting DNA into fly embryos.
· The ‘librarian’s of life-forms’ responsible for nurturing billions of cells in thousands of flasks, plates and vials.
· The people who meticulously clean the Crick’s essential glassware to allow re-use and prevent any contamination.
· The mechanical and electronic engineers who race against time to fix, adapt or invent vital equipment for use in the labs.
· The specialists preparing biological samples, from fruit flies to cancer cells, for study using powerful microscopes. Some ultra-thin samples are so delicate, an astonishing tool is used to manoeuvre them: an eyelash glued to a cocktail stick.
Visitors will see five typical workbenches which have been specially created with tools and equipment, short films, personal interviews, imagery and interactive exhibits to bring the stories and skills of these teams to life.