Tropical Medicine Time Machine touches down at the Museum of Liverpool for the first time

News article 6 Nov 2023

LSTM’s Tropical Medicine Time Machine, accompanied by scientists from across the institute, has enthralled visitors to the Museum of Liverpool.

On Saturday, nearly 500 visitors, who had travelled from across the UK and other countries including Nigeria and China, had the opportunity to see the Tropical Medicine Time Machine whilst exploring the science of snake venom, parasite diagnosis, vector biology, and antimicrobial resistance.

The Tropical Medicine Time Machine, created by Sci-Art practitioners Tom Hyatt and Natasha Niethamer as part of the National Lottery Heritage-Funded project ‘LSTM-Past, Present, and Future’ took the audience on a journey through LSTM’s rich history and opened the doors to conversations around the institute’s early years.

The families and children visiting the museum also had the opportunity to create their own unique “DNA bracelets” using colourful beading to represent the distinct parts that make up a molecule of DNA, whilst others were enthralled by the live mosquitoes brought by the Vector Biology team.

Staff from the Centre for Snakebite Research and Interventions delighted visitors with snakeskins and 3D-printed snake fangs, and an interactive hands-on activity that saw young children learn how to use a pipette.

The Clinical Diagnostics Service engaged the museum visitors with stories of how the team diagnose malaria and life in a clinical diagnostic laboratory whilst representatives from the department of Tropical Disease Biology quizzed the visitors about antimicrobial resistance and microbiology.

Alongside the scientific stands, art and science were brought together with some very imaginative mosquito-making with pipe cleaners and colourful illustrations being created.

Joining LSTM scientists this weekend was a large cohort of community volunteers who were recruited through the Liverpool City Council Volunteer Scheme and LSTM’s partnership with Everton in the Community.

Clare Maher, LSTM’s Communications and Public Engagement Officer, said: “We had a great day at the museum on Saturday. It was so busy, and we really couldn't have managed without the help of our fabulous volunteers from the community and EiTC. It was lovely to see so many of them return to help again at this event and I'm sure it was nice for them to see some familiar faces. It's great that they want to be continually involved in supporting LSTM.”

Also, at the Museum of Liverpool is a display case that tells the fascinating story of Professor Tim and Dr Joy Gordon, who got engaged on LSTM’s roof and spent a lifetime studying and illustrating tropical diseases together. The display case is also part of the LSTM-Past, Present, and Future project, and can be seen until 13th November

LSTM would like to thank lottery players for their support in enabling this important project to go ahead.