For the public

The Human Cell Atlas initiative is committed to providing a broad benefit to the wider human communities to which we belong – including explaining our science to those who might not be deeply familiar with our fields, but are nonetheless interested in the work we do. Below, you can find press coverage, lectures, and explainers aimed at a general audience. Please feel free to send us your questions here, and we will answer the most frequent ones in our FAQ.

The Human Cell Atlas at the nexus of Art and Science

One cell at a time: Bringing together communities, patients and researchers to build the Human Cell Atlas’ is an ambitious programme of public engagement activities that will explore fundamental questions embedded within the HCA research such as “What does it mean to be normal?” and “What influences peoples’ value and trust in research involving tissue donation and open access data?”.

Our aim is to improve the value and trust people place in pioneering scientific research by fostering opportunities to develop new ways of thinking, new modes of seeing and new contexts for doing between artists, scientists and diverse communities across the UK and beyond.

Art-Science commissions and collaborative workshops will see the co-development of artistic interpretations and responses that explore how people perceive what it means to be ‘normal’, and the resulting interdisciplinary artworks will be showcased in a touring exhibition that will visit Newcastle, Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire and London.

Art-Science labs, salon discussions and participatory activities will inspire new ways of ‘thinking through making’, stimulating dialogue around organ donation for research. We will use open access data from the Human Cell Atlas data portal to generate new ideas and prototypes that engage with the issues and opportunities inherent within donating tissue and data to research.

We will work with school students across the UK and encourage them to engage with the cutting-edge nature of the Human Cell Atlas’s work and experience how science is applied in the real world while also developing their creativity and problem-solving skills.

Our aim is to engage new and diverse audiences with work by a growing community of artists and creatives who explore the science of HCA critically and materially throughout its trajectory and development. In doing so, we aim to improve the value and trust people place in research. It will also help identify areas of unmet need that the HCA could tackle.



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