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The Roslin Institute opens its doors to the public
15 September 2011
On Saturday The Roslin Institute near Edinburgh threw open its doors to give people in the local area a unique chance to engage with the scientists working in the new state-of-the-art building.
The event provided an opportunity for researchers to explain their science and how it benefits people by contributing to the UK society and to economic growth. It also provided a forum for local people to talk to scientists to express their views on the research undertaken in the Institute.
Dr Tom Burdon talks to visitors about his research. Image: The Roslin Institute
The Roslin Institute opened its doors as part of the Midlothian Doors Open Days programme. Over 550 people of all ages visited the institute where 70 of Roslin's scientists were on hand to talk about their role in helping to improve the health and welfare of livestock animals and the sustainability of the livestock sector.
The Roslin Institute Building, which also houses staff from the Scottish Agricultural College who are involved in animal science research, officially opened in June following more than £60M investment, £30M of which came from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. The building is shaped like two chromosomes placed back to back and provides the scientists with fantastic facilities to conduct their research. The architects who designed the building also talked on the day about the inspiration behind its construction.
Visitors were able to engage with Roslin's science at 21 interactive exhibits spread throughout the building which covered subjects as diverse as the science of healthy bones and the life of a PhD student. A series of talks ran during the day which finished with an interactive discussion on the ethics of producing genetically modified animals.
Professor Helen Sang, a research leader at Roslin who helped to organise the day, said "I think it's really important that we find occasions like this to explain our science to the public and get their opinions on it. There was a great buzz around the Institute today with researchers engaged in really interesting and constructive conversations about their research with local people and I think everyone involved really enjoyed it."
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