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February 9, 2017 - Copenhagen Bioscience Lecture

The Copenhagen Bioscience Lectures are a series of open lectures for all researchers and other interested in and around the Copenhagen area. The lecture on 9 February 2017 will be about science communication and features Ken Arnold, creative director at the Medicinsk Museion in Copenhagen, Louise Whiteley and Adam Bencard.


February 9, 2017 - Copenhagen Bioscience Lecture


The Copenhagen Bioscience Lectures are a series of open lectures for all researchers and other interested in and around the Copenhagen area. Every 4 weeks, on a Thursday evening, you are invited for lectures on themes with a general interest for the Novo Nordisk Foundation Research Centers and bioscience researchers in general. Often there will be a cross-disciplinary focus. The lecture on 9 Feruary 2017 titles 'Beyond science communication: museums as sites for public research'.



Scientific institutions are increasingly under pressure to communicate to public audiences, and they often do so by disseminating the outcomes of research. But museums offer an alternative way of engaging visitors with perspectives on science in personal, cultural and historical contexts.

In this session, the speakers will discuss that university museums can usefully be thought of as machines with which to think in public. This is an approach developed at Medical Museion, where the spirit of inquiry is put at the centre of our programmes of study, education and public engagement, turning all those involved (from curators to students to visitors) into investigators of sorts. As museums become ever more popular (a new ‘museum age’?), this approach responds to current trends in both public and academic spheres.

This talk will draw on Ken Arnold’s experiences of setting up and running Wellcome Collection in London (a venue now drawing ¾ million visits a year), as well as his excitement about what can be achieved at Medical Museion. It will especially highlight the type of interdisciplinary investigations that these sorts of institutions allow, the role played in them by material and visual culture, and why it makes such a difference that their enquiries are pursued in public places.

The next major exhibition at Medicinsk Museion will be ‘Mind the Gut’, which explores scientific understandings of the ‘gut feelings’ that connect our brains, stomachs and microbiomes. Adam Bencard and Louise Whiteley will describe the innovative interdisciplinary processes used to curate the exhibition, and will invite attendees at this talk to participate in that process.



15:45 Welcome and registration (coffee/tea, water available)

16:00 Start of the lecture

17:30  Networking with a drink and a snack

18:30 Thank you for a splendid end of day!



Registration is completely free of charge, but mandatory.



Professor Ken Arnold took over as Creative Director at Medical Museion and Director of the Section for Science Communication at the NNF Center for Basic Metabolic Research in June 2016. He also retains a half-time role at Wellcome, where he oversees international cultural projects. Since receiving his history PhD from Princeton University, Ken has worked in museums on both sides of the Atlantic and arrived at Wellcome in 1992. In 2007 he set up and headed Wellcome Collection’s public programmes, initiating an innovative series of events and exhibitions that playfully explore the links between medicine, life and art. He regularly writes and lectures on museums and their history, as well as on contemporary intersections between the arts and sciences.

Louise Whiteley is an Associate Professor at Medical Museion and the NNF Center for Basic Metabolic Research, and curates exhibitions and events as well as doing research and teaching. Drawing on her interdisciplinary background in neuroscience, philosophy, and science communication, Louise studies how biomedical research that implicates the mind affects peoples' understandings of themselves, in part through popular culture. She is also interested in how museums can illuminate the relationship between science and the subjective experiences it invokes, acting as a form of public research that allows different disciplinary practices to 'make something together'. Louise is currently curator and researcher on the exhibition project ‘Mind the Gut’.

Adam Bencard is researcher and curator at Medical Museion and the NNF Center for Basic Metabolic Research. He has curated a number of exhibitions at Museion, alongside research, teaching and public engagement activities.

Coming from a background in philosophy and history, his work broadly examines what it means to be human in a post-genomic world, with museological theories on presence, embodiment and aesthetics as his methodology and contemporary biomedical research – particularly microbiome research – as his empirical focus. Adam is currently working on the exhibition project ‘Mind the Gut’.



I would like to know about upcoming Copenhagen Bioscience Lectures - where can I find information?

You are very welcome to join the 'Novo Nordisk Foundation Research Centers' Linkedin group. There you will find information about upcoming lectures, and much more. Also, you may want to sign up for the weekly announcement with events and deadlines, sent out by the group manager. 


What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?

We organise transport from and to Panum and DTU building 220. You can read more and register for this in the registration form.

You can park for free in front or at the side of Tuborg Havnevej 19. If that is full, there is 3 hours free parking in the parking to the Waterfront shopping mall at the end of the road.

Public transport by train to Hellerup station, and/or bus (1A, 21, 166), nearest by bus stop is Tuborg Boulevard.


Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Contact Sophie Labrosse at


How do I cancel my participation?

Please help us respecting our speakers, as well keeping track of the numbers and optimize lecture and catering to the audience by cancelling as soon as you know that you exceptionally will not be able to make it. You can either cancel through Eventbrite or send an email to Sophie Labrosse (


Can I update my registration information?

Yes, just log in to Eventbrite. Please use this option also in the unlikely event that you need to cancel your registration.


Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

No, you do not have to bring your ticket, but registration is mandatory for participation.