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Lab of Misfits moves into the Science Museum

The aim of locating Lab of Misfits in London's Science Museum is to create a ‘living lab' environment in which the public can be directly involved in and affected by the lab's activities, thereby creating a different type of research using different types of methods.

Perception, by its very nature, transcends the artificial boundaries within and between disciplines, with the result that Lab of Misfits work touches many fields, including art, design and education, as well as pure neuroscience. On any given day, we are just as likely to be creating an art installation as running an experiment. It is therefore critical that Lab of Misfits research takes place outside typical academic spaces.

Our location in the Science Museum gives us the possibility to add an unpredictable and challenging dimension to Lab of Misfits work. While universities and other research institutions remain impenetrable to the public, our ‘living lab' allows us to engage the public in science in a new and unique way, allowing them to be creators, as well as subjects, of research. In this way, the public can extend its scientific understanding while at the same time trans­forming their own perception of self and the world, and in the process potentially transform their lives at a fundamentally personal level.

Our innovative approach brings with it tremendous implications for scientific discovery, as well as for public engagement in science. By locating ourselves in a public museum, we cannot only directly engage the people ­who visit the museum every year, but through our various public programmes can run experiments on hundreds, and potentially thousands, of subjects – something which is almost impossible to orchestrate in a conventional lab.