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Helping science come to life at the Summer Science Exhibition 2023

Two people using scientific equipment

Researchers from Loughborough University and Nottingham University, as well as health professionals from the Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, are bringing to life science and technology that will revolutionise rehabilitation as part of the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition from 4-9 July.

The University is behind one of just nine interactive exhibits selected for the prestigious Summer Science Exhibition – an extravaganza showcasing the UK’s most exciting research, lectures, and late-night events that is open free to the public and brings together more than 300 scientists over six inspiring days.

Revolutionising Rehabilitation showcases the pioneering work of scientists and clinicians from Loughborough University, The University of Nottingham and the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, working together at the National Rehabilitation Centre (NRC), a major new NHS rehabilitation facility set to be built on the Stanford Hall Rehabilitation Estate near Loughborough.

Professor Mark Lewis, Loughborough University Dean of the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences and NRC Programme Lead, said: “Everyone at some point their life will need rehabilitation or know someone who will. But when we think about rehabilitation, we don’t necessarily think about the science and technology that is already making huge strides in transforming the lives of millions of people.

At the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, we will have a range of interactive opportunities including computer games, smart robots, and bionic bandages to bring the public closer to the science we are pioneering through the NRC. We can’t wait to welcome everyone.”

Professor Pip Logan, Professor of Rehabilitation Research, University of Nottingham, Academic lead for the NRC and Occupational Therapist for the NHS, said: “ The opportunity for us to present the NRC at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition allows us to demonstrate how rehabilitation research is now at the cutting edge of science; bringing together disciplines, for example, from engineering, bio-science, imaging, pharmacy, physiology and Arts with the more traditional physiotherapy, nursing, medicine and occupational therapy sciences to really have impact on people’s lives after major trauma or those living with long term health conditions.

Our research is having real impact on enabling people to enjoy independent fulfilling lives, employment, and good mental health. The NRC allows us to work in partnership with clinicians, industry, scientists and most importantly patients and families to open new horizons in rehabilitation”.

Miriam Duffy, NRC Programme Director, said: “The National Rehabilitation Centre will pioneer innovative new approaches to rehabilitation combining clinical treatment, research, innovation and technology, and training all under one roof.  Our fantastic academic partnership led by Loughborough University and the University of Nottingham is central to this new model and way of working. 

The NRC has the potential to transform clinical rehabilitation in this country.  It’s exciting, it’s cutting-edge science, it’s the best of British and we’re looking forward to being part of The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition.” 

Revolutionising Rehabilitation features the science that underpins the NRC’s vision for personalised rehabilitation, including:

  • Using sensors to see how the brain controls muscles
  • Bioengineering muscles in the lab to rebuild damaged tissue
  • Individually tailored prostheses and implants
  • Super-smart textiles for real-time remote health monitoring
  • Socially and physically assistive robots

Professor Nick Jennings, Loughborough University Vice Chancellor, said: “I am delighted that Loughborough University research addressing important real-world challenges has been selected for the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition for a second consecutive year. Last year, we showcased how catalysts could help us live more sustainably in a fossil fuel-free world. This year we reveal cutting edge science that holds the key to personalised rehabilitation.

The Summer Science Exhibition is an outstanding opportunity for the public to discover science and meet the researchers whose work has the potential to benefit our lives. I am looking forward to visiting in July and would highly recommend the experience.”

As well as the flagship exhibitor zones, the Summer Science Exhibition features talks from well-known faces like Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, the former Deputy Chief Medical Officer, and Dr Helen Sharman, the first British astronaut, Healthy Living and Healthy Planet zones, an adults only evening and a showcase of curiosities from the 1923 Royal Society Conversazione, the Summer Science Exhibition’s predecessor.

The Summer Science Exhibition takes place at the Royal Society, Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG from Tuesday 4 July 2023 to Sunday 9 July 2023. The event is FREE and open to the public. 

The full programme for the Summer Science Exhibition is available at the Royal Society’s website.