ASCUS Lab: Coming soon to Summerhall


A place to experiment in art & science…

At ASCUS Art & Science we are busy developing ASCUS Lab a trans-disciplinary space to produce, create, experiment, play, debate and research, in particular, the biosciences and their role in society. The lab will be based in Summerhall, the creative hub for the arts and venue for the Edinburgh International Science Festival and Edinburgh Fringe. For this ambitious project ASCUS plans to launch Scotland’s first open access Wet Lab this year, renovating a disused lab in the former Royal Dick Vet School and bringing it back to life. The project is co-founded by Dr James Howie (director of ASCUS), Ms Lucy Stewart and research scientists in different areas of the School of Biological Sciences (and beyond) from the University of Edinburgh.

As the lab grows we are extremely keen to work with artists and researchers, from Scotland and beyond. For Scientists we want to develop workshops and activities for ‘hands on’ public engagement with their research in the lab. For artists we want to provide access to scientific equipment and the opportunity to develop their own lab based projects. We want the ASCUS Lab to be a place for independent research and experimentation, allowing artists, scientists and members of the public etc. to conduct their own experiments. In short, the ASCUS Lab will be a community space for art and science experimentation, providing a facility for innovative methods of public engagement and allowing people to conduct independent science.

Our vision

We want to build a community of artists, designers, policymakers, scientists and the general public and create a trans-disciplinary space to produce, debate, create and carry out lab based research and explore its role in society. The space will interrogate the way science is produced, how the public is engaged and how artists and designers are represented.

The Lab will create a physical space for scientists, artists and the public to interact directly with science through doing and experimenting. It will be an “open” community laboratory based at Summerhall. It will be a space for experimentation in all the sciences with a particular focus on the life sciences dedicated to forging links to science and society. The lab will be an energetic, productive environment for making and learning, with core facilitation from domain experts.

The lab will provide supported environments for the development of independent and citizen science programmes with space and facilities for training in new and advanced scientific equipment within a safe and custom environment.


ASCUS Lab is supported by a Wellcome Trust People Award
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