The ground underneath the Wellcome Genome Campus is rich with our past. There have been several archaeological excavations at the campus, taking its history back about 10,000 years. The remains of ancient people have been discovered and researchers have been able to extract DNA from them and sequence their genomes. So we are able to learn not just from what has been left behind, but what is revealed from their genetic code.
This story is driven by two lead programmes. Opening in June 2016, there will be a six-month public exhibition called Hidden Lives at the Wellcome Genome Campus, which will bring together science and history. This exhibition will then tour the UK to enable a much wider audience to engage with this story. Strands of Time was a series of workshops with around 500 primary school-age children that used this blend of archaeology and DNA research to explore how we’re made, what we inherit, and what life was like hundreds of years ago. This culminated in a day of activity on campus, where the pupils were the experts, engaging campus scientists and the public with their research.
Neither of these projects would be possible without collaboration: with researchers, archaeologists, educators and across the expertise of the Wellcome Genome Campus Public Engagement team.