On Saturday the 26th of November, almost 100 scientists from different areas of the University of Oxford gathered at the Natural History Museum to provide an insight into their research and give the public a taste of “science behind the headlines”.
Thousands of visitors, mainly families with children, enjoyed stalls, posters and took part in a wide variety of activities.
With the help of an informative poster and a set of weighing scales, visitors were able to explore the amount of sugar present in everyday drinks and snacks: weighing the quantity of sugar found in a can of coke shocked the young and the old alike! The OCDEM stall offered visitors the chance to explore the human body in search of the relatively unknown and underappreciated pancreas and then younger visitors had the opportunity to create their own islet cells complete with organelles and hormone granules.
The visitors showed considerable interest in the recent guidelines about sugar intake and about the impact of obesity on diabetes risk, asking many questions about the influence of a healthy diet and regular exercise on lowering their risk of developing diabetes.
Kids were also invited to increase their activity for the day by doing some hula-hooping or star jumps, with the reward of a healthy (carrot sticks and grapes) or not-so healthy (chocolate sweet) snack at the end depending on how much energy they had burned off. Many children were surprised at how much activity they had to do to qualify for a chocolate!