A group of us from Modernising Medical Microbiology headed off to the Science Museum in London this afternoon to talk about antibiotic resistance with, well, anyone at one of their Lates events. This one was called “The Next Big Thing” and was co-sponsored by the Royal Society. Our stand, which was called “Resistance is Futile!”, was a mixture of games (try copying a DNA sequence … using a dance mat) and information (we have a couple of Oxford Nanopore MinION 3rd generation DNA sequencers in our pockets).
BashTheBug came too, via a large touchscreen monitor, and lots of people had a go. What was interesting for me was that most people took extraordinary care in classifying the images of bacterial growth. Some even hesitated about making a decision, in case it was “wrong”. It made me realise, that as a scientist who works on this everyday, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that this is really important and, whilst, yes, since each image is classified multiple times so the crowd of volunteers should reach a consensus, that does rely on most people taking their time and being careful.