AnNex Public Engagement

Below are some highlights from our Public Engagement Programme:

Engagement activities

Logo for the mouse exchange, featuring a crafted felt mouse

The Mouse Exchange is a public engagement activity where we invite small groups of members of the public to make a mouse” with researchers, using felt, wool and other craft materials. Throughout the 20 or so minutes we spend together participants can explore the origins of laboratory mice through conversation and interaction with objects.

It is a curiosity-driven activity that creates a space for participants to relate to laboratory mice differently. Across a number of events, it has inspired excitement and intrigue, as well as intimate and reflective conversations on the subject of animal research.

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Cartoon of an orange fish, based on the fortune-telling fish from a Christmas cracker

Find out how you really feel about fish! The psychic fish is an interactive encounter that invites people to think about fish and their use in research. Playing on the classic Fortune Teller Fish game were all familiar with from Christmas crackers, Psychic Fish reveals to participants their true” feelings about fish. Weve developed an online version of the game, which features a series of questions prompting people to reflect on what the Psychic Fish made them think about. 

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Logo of a blue tree in a hexagon, representing a fictional science facility called Biocore

Vector is an immersive theatre experience that tasks participants with ethically reviewing the use of animal models in vaccine development. Participants are welcomed into the world of Biocore, the ethical pharmaceutical company, who are keen to involve the public across their research pathways. Teams compete against each other to deliver the most ethical research proposal possible. 

Vector uses elements of performance, gameplay and integrated technology to allow participants to make decisions and react to their consequences, in an expanding narrative that spans across different aspects of the animal research nexus.

This work was developed with our creative partners The Lab Collective. Check back soon for the link to this project.

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The Work is an installation made of clay bricks and mice

Are research animals an invisible workforce within a city? Making a murine workforce from the same red clay that built Manchester as an industrial city, we were able to ask, what does it mean to be part of a community; to be shaped out of and work for it? How do we define who or what works for us and what work do we allow to be visible choose to keep discreet? How do our levels of comfort and understanding of particular work and workers shape how we value and acknowledge contributions to our environment and our lives?

This work was develop in partnership with our creative partner Rob Hopper. Check back soon for the link to this project.

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Image of pill packets

This engagement activity invites people to draw a label which could be used to denote the role of animal research in the production of medicines. Our aim is to use the hypothetical idea of labelling in order to open up questions about animal research, and about potential futures.

The activity provokes challenging questions such as: What could an animal research label look like? If such a label were rolled out, what would be the societal consequences? And how can collaboration with artists encourage new and fruitful discussions about animal research?

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Blog entry

Written by: Bentley Crudgington, Gail Davies
Written by: Bentley Crudgington
Written by: Bentley Crudgington, Emma Roe, Sara Peres
Written by: Bentley Crudgington
Written by: Ally Palmer, Reuben Message, Beth Greenhough, Bentley Crudgington
Written by: Renelle McGlacken, Tess Skidmore, Bentley Crudgington
Written by: Rich Gorman, Bentley Crudgington, Gail Davies
Written by: Reuben Message, Bentley Crudgington


This poster presents through provocations from our public engagement approach, which seek to weave in new perspectives, allow new communities to form and meaningfully connect, so we may collaboratively face emerging challenges for science and society together.

Project partners