Skip to main contentSkip to footer
Four students walk through campus
Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Celebrating the best of British Science

BSMS > About BSMS > News > 2017 > Celebrating the best of British Science

Celebrating the best of British Science

Personalised medicine, live anatomy and robotic seals: highlights from the 2017 British Science Festival.

Leading academics from BSMS took part in a diverse range of events when the 2017 British Science Festival  came to Brighton for the first time since 1983 in September. 

More than 150 free events were held around the city and at the Universities of Sussex and Brighton, which jointly hosted the festival. 

"The festival was a great opportunity to showcase the really exciting and important science we do in Sussex to an audience including many from Brighton and the region but also a large number of national and international visitors," says Dean of BSMS, Professor Malcolm Reed.

Professor Dame Lesley Fallowfield, Director of Sussex Health Outcomes Research and Education in Cancer (SHORE-C), gave a talk on the risks posed by treatments for breast cancer and demonstrated how the words used by medical professionals to describe cancer treatments are ambiguous and will often produce different estimates on patients' life expectancy or recovery time. Listen to an audio recording of this talk below. 

Somnath Mukhopadhyay, Professor of Paediatrics, hosted a panel discussion on the need for personalised medicine. Emma Wileman, who lost her nine-year-old son when he suffered a cardiac arrest after eating peanuts, argued that change is absolutely necessary. "We have to progress. The more we look into genes and further our understanding, the better the chance we have of individualising medicine." Watch the video below to see full highlights of this talk.   


Dr Harry Witchel, Discipline Leader in Physiology, showed how our bodies are constantly revealing our thoughts and behaviour through the smallest micromovements, even when we are supposedly 'doing nothing'. 

Sube Banerjee, Professor of Dementia, Dr Elizabeth Ford, Lecturer in Research Methodology and Dr Penny Dodds, Lecturer Practitioner, discussed dementia, 'the problem of the 21st century', and introduced PARO, a robotic seal that helps people with dementia, anxiety and depression.

The BSMS anatomy team, led by Dr Claire Smith, explored the human body using ultrasound scanning, non-human dissection and a range of anatomical resources. 

Natalie Edelman, NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow, transformed into Madame Natalie at Brighton Pier, where her interactive quiz determined how many sexual partners participants have had, as well as providing sexual health advice.