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The Farr Institute at the Edinburgh Fringe

Published on: 11th July 2017

The Farr Institute Scotland will be taking part in three Edinburgh Fringe events this summer, bringing Scottish research in front of a wider audience.

After a successful performance at the Edinburgh Science Festival earlier this year, sociologist and research fellow Dr Mhairi Aitken (The Farr Institute, University of Edinburgh) will be talking about the usage of health data in two separate events. As the Public Engagement Lead of Farr Scotland, she is no stranger to presenting in front of an audience. In the past, she has performed a spoken word show in the Edinburgh Fringe 2016, spoken about data-linkage for research within an improvised comedy show and reached the Scottish final of Famelab (an international science communication competition).

For the first time, Prof Aileen Keel (Innovative Healthcare Delivery Programme, IHDP) and Prof Dave Robertson (University of Edinburgh) will stand in front of an audience together to discuss how data science can be an important tool in cancer research and care. Dr Data: The Answer to Cancer, produced in cooperation with the Cancer Innovation Challenge and the Beltane Network, is part of the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas, a well-established series of research-related performances.


Doctor Google Will See You Now

6 August 8.20pm and 26 August 1.50pm, New Town Theatre

Your supermarket knows when you’re pregnant; Google knows what medical conditions you have; Facebook could help your doctor diagnose you. What if Google sent a record of your search terms to your doctor to notify them of likely health conditions? What if Facebook sent an alert to midwives when pregnant ladies posted photos of them drinking alcohol or smoking?

Join Mhairi Aitken (The Farr Institute, University of Edinburgh) as she discusses how this information could be used and have your own say on what should remain science fiction and what should become reality.

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Prof Dave Robertson and Prof Aileen Keel
Prof Dave Robertson and Prof Aileen Keel

Dr Data: The Answer to Cancer

19 August, 1.50pm, New Town Theatre

Data is everywhere. From diagnosis to treatment to recovery, a patient’s cancer journey leaves a data trail. What if the answers we seek about cancer are hidden in there? It could help us refine diagnosis, select treatments and improve the patient experience.

With the Cancer Innovation Challenge, data scientists, technologists and clinicians are looking for innovative data science solutions to help Scotland become a world leading carer for people with cancer. Join Professors Aileen Keel (IHDP) and Dave Robertson (University of Edinburgh) to discuss the contributions of data science towards cancer research and care.

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Seriously Funny

25 August, 7.30pm, Quaker Meeting House

Spare an hour for quality comedy that educates and entertains! Comedians are joined on stage by academic researchers from Edinburgh’s universities.

Mhairi Aitken will focus on the question of using personal data instead of human organs and tissue to examine health and illness patterns.

Ed Patrick, junior doctor, comedian, Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year finalist 2016 and Paramount Funniest Student finalist, looks at the current state of healthcare and shares his personal stories from the ward.

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