The Great Exhibition Road Festival  2024

Posted 19th June 2024 by Lorraine Gibson

The Great Exhibition Road Festival is a free annual celebration of science and the arts each summer in South Kensington, led by Imperial College London. This year the event took place on 15-16 June to celebrate how science and the arts help people, communities and nature flourish. 

Visitors could enjoy hands-on workshops, fascinating talks, performances and installations from iconic museums, research and culture organisations, including Imperial College London, the Natural History Museum, Royal College of Music, Science Museum, V&A, Royal Albert Hall and many more.   

Target Malaria was present last year, and it was a pleasure to be exhibiting again in the NextGen Zone at the Science Museum’s Smith Centre catered towards young people to help inspire and encourage them to be interested in sciences. 

People listening to ”Swarm” sonification.
Carla Siniscalchi of Imperial College London explains the mosquito life cycle. 

The stand featured various communication tools, such as our  card game “Mozzie Drive”, the  “Swarm” sonification, live mosquitoes and larvae allowing visitors to come face-to-face with mosquitoes.   We also launched our new microinjection game which was trialled at the Imperial Lates event in February. The game is created in collaboration with Michael Marston, a British video game developer, and Louise Marston, one of Target Malaria’s senior research technicians at Imperial College London. The game allows the player to enter a simulation laboratory, which has been modelled after our real laboratory, and play a module to experience the process of microinjection. Microinjection is a key part of our research and science. It is a difficult process that necessitates skills and patience to sort out embryos and then inject them with a DNA solution. We have a blog which outlines the process written by Louise Marston, who is our top microinjector of mosquito embryos at the Crisanti Lab.  Read the blog here.  

Two young people play the new microinjection game.

This year we also partnered with the PaintLab who paired us with an amazing artist, DREPH. The aim was for DREPH to paint a mural inspired by a conversation with Dr. Alekos Simoni on the Target Malaria project and research. The piece is called ‘Children at play’ and pays homage to Stephen Pusey’s 1980s mural of the same name. It celebrates the innocence of childhood, while also highlighting the vulnerability of young children in tropical and sub-tropical regions where malaria, transmitted by infected female Anopheles mosquitoes, remains a significant threat. 

DREPH’s large scale mural.

Thank you to all the visitors who visited the festival and our stand! We look forward to next year.