Images of Research 2012

The University of Bath runs an annual event (and competition) called Images of Research which aims to promote and explain all the exciting research going on at the University of Bath through the use of images. Here is the website about this event and the 50 plus images that were entered (there are loads of amazing ones – check them out). There was also an exhibition held at the Octagon, Milsom in Bath place last weekend (12th-13th May 2012) – which I went to. If anyone did visit the exhibition, I was the enthusiastic person at the door on Sunday morning inviting people to come have a look at the images.

These are some quick pictures I took of the gallery in the morning before I started my leaflet-mission outside! The octagon is such a lovely gallery. I was told last night that it used to be the home of the national photographic museum which has since moved to Bradford in Yorkshire. This was of great interest to me because I grew up in Bradford and I visited (what is now called) the Bradford Media Museum many times when I was little – my favourite part was the magic flying carpet (because you could pretend to be Aladdin and Princess Jasmin on the flying carpet)!

I entered an image for this event – here it is below with the abstract.

I entered because I thought it was a great event and I have attended it with interest the last few years, but each year I couldn’t think of something I could enter. I finally plucked up the courage to ask if it was just photos that they accepted, or if I could submit any image and they said the cartoon of the pharmacists brain I had drawn could definitely be submitted. I never expected that I would win anything, but I did – I won the best image prize! I was so excited because there were so many fabulous images entered that it was a big commendment of my image that it was chosen as best image. When I read the abstracts below the images I realised just how cutting edge and amazing some of the research that our Bath researchers are doing. I also got interviewed after the event because I won a prize! You can read my interview here on our university news page.

Blank brain competition – for the Images of Research 2012 Visitors

Professor Jane Millar, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research) congratulated me on my win, and whilst we were chatting I told Prof Millar about the blank brain competition I was running for community pharmacists and our pharmacy students who are taking part in our mental workload research and she said I should have had some blank brains for people to fill in on the preview night. Can you imagine all the things that might have been going on in all those researcher’s brains…? I hadn’t done that but it did make me think that we should do this when the exhibition was on at the Octagon, so I printed off a load of blank brain entry forms and created a third competition for people who visited the images of research exhibition. Their entries of the images of research blank brain competition and the winner can be found below.

The images

Image No 1.

This person visited the images of research competition on Sunday. They are 33 and are a teacher (I guessed this from their image – in the middle it says need to plan lessons). They said this was their brain everywhere (so home, work and and everywhere else). I love how much work went into this entry. I also related very much to the thoughts on this person’s mind having got married myself last year – I know how much planning a wedding can be right at the front of the mind. I thought the segment with the “pressure to finish poster quickly – got to check out of Travelodge” was the best bit though (that definitely is mental workload – it captures the time pressure aspect of it brilliantly).

Image No 2. (Our winning entry)

This image was drawn by a 10 year old girl and she tells us her image shows what her brain is like when she is at home. Clearly she is a budding artist. When I showed these images to my supervisors and few coursemates I think we all found that we still relate to a lot of these sections in the brain – clearly we are still 10 years old heart. I still want a pet (maybe not a dog…not sure I could get up even earlier to walk a dog before I head off to uni the morning) and I love running and drawing and youtube!  The winner was chosen by random – with the help of Jane my supervisor – I gave each image an entry number wrote this on a piece of paper and mixed them up in the box – I thought Jane would just pick one out of the box but she chucked all the pieces of paper up in the air and then picked one off the floor to make sure it was extra-specially randomised! The prize was a £25 amazon voucher and it will be winging it’s way to our winner tomorrow.

Image No 3.

This image was drawn by someone who is 39 years old and they say this is what’s on their brain all the time too. I thought the part saying optimisation of the interactions between lots of the other things on their mind was great – we all feel like we play a balancing act with things, people and events in our lives. I also love the honesty of this entry – sex is down at the bottom – no one else has put sex on their image so far (I am including the Pharmacist entries in this as well) and I thought this may be on the brains of a lot of adults that entered!

Image No 4.

This entry was drawn by a four year old boy for us, he tells us (or rather his parents do I think) that this is his brain when he is at pre-school – clearly it is a very busy brain! The first thing I thought when I saw this one is I wonder if this is how a person with colour synesthesia would complete their brain?! If you haven’t heard about synesthesia before – it is fascinating, there are several different types, but  a common example is when people think of a word or an object and at the same time this is represented by another sensory perception – smell, taste, a colour or an image. Synthesia therefore means joined perception. See this website for more info on synthesisa (

Image No 5.

This is an image drawn by a girl who is 14 years old and tells us that this is her brain when she is at school. There isn’t too many things on her mind – which is good so hopefully she isn’t overwhelmed with lots of thoughts. What we thought was rather telling about this image, is that she put her thoughts about doing her work at the back of her brain not at the front!

A huge thank you!

I want to say a huge thank you to all our entrants and huge well done to entrant No.2 who won the prize. Whilst these images just look like a bit of fun, we can see just how many things we can all have on our minds – on top of all the day-to-day and work tasks we carry out.  I really enjoyed the images of research exhibition and I am thrilled with the blank brain images that were entered – I wasn’t expecting any – nevermind so many detailed and well drawn images, so thank you very much!

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