Connecting Art and Science – ‘A Picture of Health’

A series of events to mark the book and website launch of a Picture of Health, featuring a pop-up exhibition and panel discussion with artists, scientists, and key leaders.

 25 January 2023   Institute News

The MRC LMS holds its ‘A Picture of Health’ events with a pop-up exhibition and panel discussions with leading researchers, renowned artists, poets, writers and influential science broadcasters. Our events showcased over 100 of interpretations of ‘A Picture of Health’ from a cross section of society to explore ‘The Future of Health’, ‘Art and Science in health’ and ‘A Sense of Place for the LMS’.


‘A Picture of Health’ was pioneered by Professor Dame Amanda Fisher in 2019 as an exciting project to collect different interpretations of what ‘a picture of health’ means to society nowadays. What started off as a small discussion between individuals slowly blossomed into a book and website with 100 interpretations of the phrase that was set to launch in January 2023.

“From politicians such as Sadiq Khan, poets and novelists like Ben Okri, and many other incredible artists, scientists, community leaders and activists, the contributions represent a unique insight into how different individuals perceive ‘health’.”

– Picture of Health team

To celebrate the book and website launch of ‘A Picture of Health’, the MRC LMS held a pop-up exhibition last week showcasing the paintings, poems, sculptures and other contributions from the book, alongside panel discussions featuring a range of fascinating speakers on topics surrounding the future of health, art and science interface, and a sense of place for the LMS.

The first event hosted by science broadcaster and author Kat Arney focused on the ‘Future of health’, featuring an interesting discussion with Sir Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President at AstraZeneca, and Senior Public Health Expert, Kevin Fenton. Multi award winning writer and broadcaster Vivienne Parry hosted our second event exploring the interface between Art and Science, and the Communication of Science.

The beloved children’s author of ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ and poet, Michael Rosen, commenced the second evening by reading his poem continued by a panel discussion bringing together incredible artists, scientists and science journalists. Angela Palmer, the creator of ‘The Sphere that Changed the World’ – a 3D glass sculpture of the coronavirus particle, Professor and author, Giles Yeo and BBC science correspondent, Pallab Ghosh were amongst our amazing panelists discussing about science communication and the connection between art and science.

Our final event of the series, hosted by BAFTA nominated filmmaker Lindsay Keith, was rounded off with a discussion on the future of the LMS and its sense of place in White City and the wider community with key leaders of the UKRI, MRC, Imperial College and Professor Wiebke Arlt, new director of the LMS.

One of the contributions from our very own LMS staff, Fazil Khan, featured a beautiful green kite. As a recurring theme throughout the book, the kites and blue skies acted as a metaphor for the blue skies research carried out at the LMS. Our exhibition featured Fazil’s kite along with colourful kites made by our LMS students during a workshop run by Fazil. Our guests also had the opportunity to create their own paper kites, sharing what a picture of health means to them and actively participating in the creation of a small part of the exhibition.  

The exhibition was a huge success and received positive reviews from both the science and art communities. It provided a unique opportunity for people to experience the intersection of science and art and to gain insight into what a ‘Picture of Health’ means to the community.


“For me it is a shining example of how #SciComms should approach #publicengagement in 2023 and beyond. Hosted in their amazing new building, MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences are launching this far-reaching exhibition (and accompanying book). And hands-down it was the best event I’ve been to since Covid! ”                                                                – Nick Vincent, Director and Designer at Vincent Design Consultants Limited on LinkedIn


“I do wish we had more events like this. I had never been to the Laboratory of Medical Sciences before and the building is amazing- as impressive as the Crick, I think.” 

– Professor Peter Openshaw, Professor of Experimental Medicine at Imperial College London


Listen to the full panel discussions of ‘A Picture of Health’ on our MRC LMS YouTube channel