PREVIEW: Craft & Graft, Francis Crick Institute

On display from the 1st March, this new exhibition focuses  on the roles of the people to carry out important scientific research. 

Craft & Graft will take visitors behind the scenes to explore to roles of  technicians, engineers and specialists supporting science at the institute.

Each of the technical teams help to prepare process, make, mend, analyse and innovate. From fixing faults in complex cutting-edge technology to feeding fruit flies and operating robots, they are essential to keep the labs running and science happening.

This new and free exhibition will concentrate on five specialist teams who have opened their doors for the first time including:

  • 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 ‘librarians 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.

Those visiting will see five typical workbenches that 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.

Emily Scott-Dearing, curator of the new exhibition, says: “In the Crick’s gleaming laboratories more than 1,000 scientists are thinking, experimenting and collaborating. What’s less well known is that they depend on the support of an army of technicians, engineers and specialists – from school-leavers learning on the job to highly trained experts. These individuals rarely play the leading roles but without this ensemble cast there’d be no science here at all.”

Craft & Graft will be displayed at the Francis Crick Institute from the 1st March until the 30th November.

%d bloggers like this: