In this episode of the FLF Development Network Research Insight series, Professor Roger Kneebone explores cross-sector influences between academia and practitioners in other fields and disciplines, with a focus on how cross-sector interactions can enhance each other’s research, skills and capabilities.
Thinking With Your Hands at the Art Workers’ Guild in London brought extraordinary craftspeople from science, medicine and the arts together to explore what they have in common.
The Art of Performing Science symposium at Imperial College London brought together seventy artists, scientists, clinicians and performers to uncover and explore unexpected parallels between their apparently unrelated areas of expert practice.
Thread Management at the Art Workers’ Guild explored what experts from apparently unrelated domains - including surgery, embroidery, fishing and puppetry - found in common when they focused on the threads which are central to their work.
This sequel to Thread Management gives further insights into the unexpected parallels that emerge when experts in the use of thread come together to share their insights.
The distinguished textile artist Fleur Oakes presents her Epiploic Cube, which she designed and created in order to give a sense of the hidden inner landscapes of the human body. The work was inspired by her time as embroiderer in residence in Mr Colin Bicknell’s vascular surgery unit at St Mary’s Hospital (part of Imperial College London).
Raymond Tribe has been making chemical glassware for over forty years, working to the highest levels of accuracy and precision to supply scientific laboratories across the world. One of the last of a disappearing breed, his craft reflects the changing world of scientific research. Raymond’s lifelong obsession with the materiality of glass also drives him to explore the apparently impossible - making glass nails, glass barbed wire and tiny glass trumpets.
Stephen Ramsey worked as a scientific glassblower for over forty years, becoming one of the leading exponents of his craft. Skilled in every aspect of his work, Stephen collaborated with research scientists to design and create bespoke apparatus which combined innovation with technical mastery.
Katharine Coleman, one of the UK’s leading glass engravers, is also entranced by her material, though hers is an overtly artistic perspective. Katharine’s award-winning pieces integrate design, craftsmanship and innovation as she combines the delicacy of a surgeon and the rigour of a scientist with the aesthetics of an artist.
The late John McKenzie spent his professional life making ophthalmic surgical instruments of extraordinary delicacy and precision. In this video he shows some of them to me and describes how he created them.
Andrew Davidson, a pre-eminent wood engraver, moves effortlessly between conception and execution.As an artist and illustrator, he creates designs for books, postage stamps and commercial products. As an engraver he turns these designs into works of the utmost subtlety, ‘painting with light’ through the precise control of seemingly simple tools. As a printer, he creates his final work through the medium of a nineteenth century hand press before converting it into digital form.
This public engagement project featured highly realistic interactive simulations of three moments in surgical time to explore what has changed since the 19th century - and what hasn’t. A collaboration between clinicians, historians and members of the public used immersive simulation to prompt wide ranging discussion at four venues across the UK.
Miss Sarah Minter (1917 -2018) spent her working life as a nurse. As Theatre Superintendent for theWestminster Group of Hospitals she was responsible for turning a bedroom at Buckingham Palace into an operating theatre so that King George VI (father of The Queen) could have part of his lung removed for cancer in 1951. In this conversation, Miss Minter describes that occasion to me.
This extended video documents one of the initial events at the Science Museum in my Simulation-based Re-enactment project. Bringing together long-retired clinicians who worked together for decades, this surgical team led by Professor Harold Ellis enacted an open cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder) - a procedure that is now almost always performed by keyhole surgery instead.
The late Professor Stanley Feldman was a pioneering anaesthetist and researcher. This film documents a visit to the Science Museum’s reserve collection (then at Blythe House in west London), where Professor Feldman explains how he used many of the historic anaesthetic machines stored behind the scenes.
Jozef Youssef (founder and Chef Patron of Kitchen Theory) invites me, Claudia Schlegel (nurse educator), Beatrice Käser Merz (domiciliary wound care nurse) and Kirsty Flower (biological scientist) to discuss the culinary concept of mise-en-place - an orderly approach to one’s workplace.
A plumber (Mr Matthias Vogel), a space scientist (Prof Kathrin Altwegg), a stoma specialist nurse (Ms Monika Stöckli) and a skills centre nurse (Dr Claudia Schlegel) come together with me in Bern, Switzerland to explore the significance of leaks and their remedies across apparently unrelated disciplines.
This project brought together a historian of science with a particular interest in navigational instruments (Prof Jim Bennett) with the first female navigation officer in the Merchant Navy (Dr Nina Baker) to handle historic sextants in the Science Museum’s reserve collection at Blythe House. We explore how their different perspectives and experience throw light on the disappearing craft of navigating by means of the sun and the stars.
This short video explores how ideas of rhythm, coordination and tuning are central in disciplines as diverse as laboratory science, engineering, stone carving and jazz. With thanks to Malcolm Creese, Matt Lane Sanderson, Paul Jakeman and others.