Talking research with the public, through the Multiverse Lab
During a week on the road, the Multiverse Lab team engaged with members of the public, who shared that cancer, dementia and mental health are amongst their most common priorities for the future of research. Several visitors also talked about the need for more research into Crohn’s and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
About Multiverse Lab
Multiverse Lab is a live, interactive installation, designed to engage the public in important discussions around health and social care research. Partners* worked together to commission Unfolding Theatre to create the Lab, which went on the road between 17 and 25 July this year. They wanted to know: what is the research breakthrough you would like to see in your lifetime?
The lab, (pictured) toured across North East and North Cumbria, visiting local communities. The response was fantastic, with over 350 people engaging with the hosts and sharing their voices.
Involving the public at every stage of the research journey
Even the concept and design of the Multiverse Lab was inclusive, with public volunteers being active in its creation.
Gary Gibson is a Public Contributor for Newcastle Hospital’s APEX Group (Advising on the Patient Experience). He became involved in the project from an early stage and joined the Lab in Newcastle, encouraging other members of the public to share their voice. When asked why he thought activities like this were valuable, he said:
“For too long, health research has not had a broad enough spectrum of people participating…people think it’s not for them…[that] health research is for somebody else, it’s for boffins […] but I think that’s not the case at all”.
Visit this short video (48 seconds) to see what else Gary said https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jqAdFKvXWc
Following this successful tour, the team at Unfolding Theatre are now preparing to take Multiverse Lab back on the road in in Autumn 2021.
Key facts from the Multiverse Lab live tour
- Number of venues visited – seven
- Number of visitors – between 350 and 400
- Most common health challenge mentioned – cancer, dementia, mental health, Crohn’s Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre
- NIHR Newcastle Clinical Research Facility
- NIHR Clinical Research Network North East North Cumbria
- NIHR Newcastle In Vitro Diagnostic Co-operative
- NIHR Clinical Research Network Speciality Cluster E
- Newcastle University
- Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- National Innovation Centre for Ageing