Open Day @BMC
On March 23, the Biomedical Center opened its doors for the first time to the public. Over 1500 visitors took this opportuinity to inform themselves about the research and teaching/educational opportunities conducted at the BMC.
The different research departments exhibited their work at interactive infostands, at which visitors could discuss different research topics directly with the expert scientists of all generations, could use microscopes to observe frog eggs, fruit flies and nerve cells up-close, and could assemble the parts of a human brain. The BMC Research Workshop and the Animal Facility also gave insight on how these facilities support research.
Short talks touching on topics such as the immune system, memory mechanisms, sunburn damage and diseases like Alzheimer or Multiple Sclerosis were very well attended. "The talks were very easy to understand, even for laypersons. I found the lecture on Alzheimer especially interesting", commented Elke K, who visited with her husband and granddaughter.
In "hands on" labs, visitors could observe their red blood cells using capillary microscopy, watch evidence of the working brain in the EEG, and determine the volume capacity of their lungs. In biochemical experiments, they were able to test their skills with a pipette and learned about important steps in DNA and protein analysis.
Tours through the laboratories were especially popular, where visitors could see real-life labs, as well as getting impressions of the high-tech equipment used in current research.
A highlight for children aged 5-12 was the Kids Lab where children were able to conduct fascinating experiments and document them in their very own lab books.
In addition, child care and a Kids Cinema, short films about the LMU and the research performed on the Campus Großhadern/Martinsried were among the numerous activities offered. For those that developed an appetite, cafeteria fare was served at the StuBistro.
To round off the day, there was a panel discussion on the topic "Basic research – is it a luxury or a necessity?“. Prof. Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker (former President of the DFG and the ERC), Prof. Hans-Jörg Rheinberger (MPI for the History of Science, Berlin), Prof. Ulrich Pohl (BMC Physiology) and Dr. Philipp Korber (BMC Molecular Biology) discussed with Dr. Jeanne Rubner (Head of Editorial Science and Educational Policy, Bayerischer Rundfunk). The panel guests gave their opinions and experience on this topic, and fielded questions from the audience.
(Photo courtesy: Barbara Nitz/LMU, Detlef Franzen/LMU, Philipp Thalhammer/LMU)