1. ESRC Genomics Network (archive)
  2. Gengage
  3. The Human Genre Project

Egenis · News

Researcher guests at Cheltenham Science Festival



Christine Hauskeller joins a discussion panel with the Festival Director.


Senior Research Fellow Dr Hauskeller was one of a panel of guests discussing six 15-minute pieces of radio drama entitled 'Interior Traces'. The episodes illustrate the historic changes in the perception of disorders of the brain. They portray two fictional characters and how their predisposition to cancer and aggressive behavioural tendencies might be diagnosed and treated in 1930, in the present day and in 20 years’ time.

The episodes were performed throughout the day at the Festival, and the panel discussion took place in the evening.

The drama is a project funded by the Wellcome Trust. Readings from the play are accompanied by live music, and projection of a video compilation of 'images' of the brain, including drawings, scans, and genetic data. The panel discussion used the fictional scenarios of the drama to spark discussion about brain imaging and other novel medical technologies and the issues they raise.

Dr Hauskeller joined Festival Director Mark Lythgoe, neuroscientist Geraint Rees and philosopher Raymond Tallis to discuss how seeing the brain affects how we think about the mind, and how genetic knowledge might influence medical treatment. ‘This is a great project and I was delighted to be a guest at the festival again,’ said Dr Hauskeller. ‘This radio drama is an original and topical project which is exploring some very pertinent issues, and I hope to use it myself as a teaching tool in the future. The pieces highlight shifts in the professional attitudes toward individual conditions and their changing medicalisation with the help of scientific technology.

‘On the panel we talked about these changes, about the impact of neuro-imaging and genetic profiling on medical treatment and prediction, and the philosophical consequences for our sense of self, privacy, and responsibility.’

Dr Hauskeller had previously joined a panel at the Dana Centre at the Science Museum in London to discuss the 'future' episodes of the drama. The episodes and the panel discussion will be broadcast on Resonance FM this Friday, 12 June, from 3.30-5.00pm.