Sara Schmidt at Edinburgh International science Festival

Edinburgh International Science Festival

To a back drop of spring flowers and Easter celebrations in the Scottish capital city of Edinburgh, we explored the wonders of organogenesis with festival goers. 

The National Museum of Scotland was our base, with a space designed for scientific discovery and exploration. We wanted to reveal how science is learning how to make and repair organs in the lab, whilst generating a sense of wonder at how we develop. Using origami as a metaphor, where a single sheet of paper can grow into many shapes, depending on the instructions followed, Tung Ken Lam, origami artist, took centre stage.

From the origami, the festival goer was taken through a sequence of activities designed to complete the story. They discovered where our major organs are in the body (where are my stem cells?), viewed live organs through the transparent bodies of zebrafish (with smartphone microscopes) and explored the techniques scientists use looking after the cells they grow in the lab (cell pet).

With the city tantalised with the first signs of spring it was a perfect time to show the budding of developing organs in early human development.