Cancer research poster

Ever danced the DNA Replication? Possibly not – but if you’d like to give it a try (along with the Dashing White Oxidant and the Canadian Brain Dance), have lots of fun, burn off some calories (whilst adding some more…) and raise funds for a fantastic cause, Cancer Research UK’s Science Ceilidh is the place to be. And don’t worry if you don’t know your reels from your rants – there’ll be an experienced caller to keep your feet in order.

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Scientists from the Western General Hospital have teamed up with top violinist Lewis Hou (himself a research associate at Edinburgh University) to organise The Ceilidh Experiment at Summerhall this Friday (24 October 2014).  Another string to Lewis’s bow is his passion for Scottish country dancing, and he’s been collaborating with the researchers to explain their work through variations on the Gay Gordons. Not only can you brew up a hoolie in a night of flings and Flying Scotsmen – there will also be a research-themed funfair, sweets, hands-on science games, a film, art, poetry from Cancer Out Loud, a centurion, three bars, a crepe stall – and lots of glowsticks (to find out what they represent, you’ll need to come along…)

Scientist Dr Jimi Wills, who is based at Cancer Research UK’s Edinburgh Centre, said ‘Most of us know someone whose life has been touched by cancer. Thanks to research more people are surviving cancer than ever before, but there’s still so much to do. It’s not technology or knowledge that’s holding us back, it’s funding…around three people are diagnosed with cancer every hour in Scotland, and Cancer Research UK spends £34 million a year here on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research. The charity, which receives no government funding, finances world-class researchers, including a team in Edinburgh who are leading research into the genetic and environmental causes of bowel cancer…and cutting edge research is developing new treatments to stop cancer spreading.’

cancer research ceilidh 3Rebecca Scott, Research Engagement Manager at the Centre, said ‘Just over a generation ago, only one in four people would survive cancer; today two in four people survive, but over the next 20 years we want to see that rise to three in four people and to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. This will require a huge increase in research, but we’re confident we’ll get there.’

So get your dancing shoes on and come on down to Summerhall on Friday night, for an evening full of wild – and wildly innovative – dancing; try your luck at hook-a-duck (and try saying that after a visit to all three bars…), feel justified in stuffing yourself with crepes and sweeties, and throw yourself into Orcadian Stripping the Helix (yes really…) – what’s not to like?

Tickets are £7 in advance (via eventbrite) or £10/£8 on the night, and events kick off at 7pm on Friday 24th October 2014. Summerhall is at 1 Summerhall, beside The Meadows.

For more information about Cancer Research see

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