Manchester Town City Hall was packed full of thousands of visitors when they dropped in on The Brain Box event on Sunday, as part of Manchester Day.
Over 5000 people of all ages explored the exciting science of the brain with scientists from across the region as well as experiencing brain-inspired arts in the form of images, poetry and dance.
The day was a unique collaboration between the city’s three universities: The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and Salford University as well as Manchester City Council, MoSI, NHS Trusts, patient groups and artists, with even a float from Manchester Day parade joining the event.
The Manchester Day celebrations recognise the achievements of Manchester as a city every year and this year, to coincide with Manchester being European City of Science, the theme of the day was Eureka!
Professor Andreas Prokop from the University of Manchester and one of the main organisers of the event said: “The Brain Box event is an important way for us, as scientists, to engage with our community, and to inspire young and old with the incredible science that happens in our city.”
An popular activity was a giant wooden sculpture of the brain, wired up by visitors throughout the day with thousands of pieces of string to reflect the complexity of the real brain’s many billions of connections.
The Brain Box event is an important way for us, as scientists, to engage with our community, and to inspire young and old with the incredible science that happens in our city
A time-lapse film of the brain sculpture gaining it’s new connections over the course of the day will be posted soon on The Brain Box website.
The film will also be showcased at the British Pavilion in Rio at the Olympic Games illustrated the complexity of the brain's electrical connections.
With more than 50 stands manned by over 200 volunteers, focussing on all different aspects of the brain – including the basics, vision, pain, history, learning, brain imaging and what happens when the brain goes wrong – the Brain Box provided a unique experience for the visitor.
In the historic city chambers, visitors to the event were treated to a series of talks on subjects ranging from history of our understanding of the brain to cutting edge brain-imaging technologies.
Professor Stuart Allan, another of the event’s main organisers added: “We were delighted with how the Brain Box went: it was a huge success and everyone went home with a smile on their face.”