Never mind changing lightbulbs – how many neuroscientists does it take to show us how our brains work? In this case, just one: pharmacy lecturer Dr Mark Dallas.

Working with theatre company Filskit Theatre, on the Bright Sparks project, Dallas is helping to dispel myths about brain function, and giving children, teachers and scientists a vital insight into neuroscience.

Bright Sparks is a high-quality, interactive theatre roadshow using light and electricity to represent how our brains work. Aimed at children aged 3–7 years and their families, the show – which premiered at the Polka Theatre’s Brain Waves and has toured to positive reviews around the UK – is set inside the human brain. It illustrates the fallacy of the ‘left and right brain’ divide, showing that simultaneous, harmonious function is required to operate this extraordinary biological apparatus.

Dallas also helped develop a laboratory element to the show for use by teachers and, through his blog, has shared his experience and knowledge with the scientific community. He is committed to develop these and other partnerships through his work with the STEM network, pub-based national science festival Pint of Science, and leading Alzheimer’s charities.

Shortlisted for the University Research Engagement and Impact Awards 2017

First published: June 2017