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Evening at the museum

last modified Oct 28, 2016 01:43 PM

Members of the Epidemiology and Modelling Group attended the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting 2016 in London last week sponsored by the Gates Foundation amongst others. The meeting covers a range of grand challenges for the developing world, mostly focusing on Global Health with separate sessions on Crop Research on three successive days.

Rich Stutt, Matt Castle, David Godding and Chris Gilligan presented the group’s work on Epidemiological modelling for control of emerging epidemics of crop disease in Sub-Saharan Africa over two successive evenings. Priti Patel, Secretary of State at DfID, highlighted work by the group in a plenary address:  “For example, we are supporting researchers at the University of Cambridge who are working with the UK Met Office and international wheat scientists, to track and prevent deadly outbreaks of wheat rust, a disease which can have a devastating impact on food supply in some of the world’s poorest places.”

On Wednesday evening, the Epidemiology and Modelling Group ran a booth at the Science Museum Lates after-hours contagion-themed event (pictured), as part of the Grand Challenges events. Ten members – ably co-ordinated by Matt Castle – were there to explain to the public how modelling is used to combat plant disease. They illustrated some of the principles with 'PhytoFighter', a game created for the event.  An estimated 170 people played with many more visiting - see if you can beat their scores at

Almost 5,000 people passed through the Science Museum for the Lates event.

The Department has carried out a comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessment process and has opened to allow research work to take place. To ensure the safety of our staff, a range of measures to reduce building occupancy and allow strict social distancing have been introduced, including increased cleaning and hygiene regimes. We are currently not accepting visitors so please continue to contact us by email until further notice.