Research documentaries on campus

Join us for a screening of two fascinating short research documentaries over lunchtime at our Canterbury and Medway campuses on Monday 17 September and Thursday 20 September.

Made for KMTV, each film will last around 12 minutes followed by a guided debate with the scientists, contributors and filmmakers involved. There will also be a small gallery showcasing some of the public engagement work being undertaken by researchers at  Kent.

Film 1: The Mohawk of Consciousness

What does it mean to be conscious? How do we know if someone is a conscious entity? For centuries, human consciousness has continued to both intrigue and baffle.

This film follows the research of Kent computational neuroscientist Dr Srivas Chennu who, using advanced electroencephalogram technology (EEG), is able to look inside the brain of vegetative state patients who are otherwise unable to respond and appear unaware of their surroundings.

Dr Chennu’s research has revealed remarkable levels of activity in patients that are often indisguishable from healthy controls. Today it is estimated that up to 40 per-cent of patients in a vegetative state have some hidden level of consciousness but are effectively “locked in”.

The documentary explores the increasing reliance on medical technology to make life and death decisions and in doing so delves into one of the most ethically, socially and clinically complex areas faced by the modern medical community.

Film 2: IVF – Science & Society

Louise Brown, the world’s first IVF baby celebrated her 40th birthday in July. Since then more than six million IVF babies have been born and the technique has evolved considerably. This short documentary will explore the world of IVF from the scientist’s laboratory bench to the private clinic.

World leading IVF scientists Professor Darren Griffin (Kent) and Professor Alan Thornhill will explore the science behind the procedure and talk about the techniques and advances being developed globally.

The film includes touching interviews with a mother about to have her first pre-natal scan, and a father of two teenage sons both conceived by IVF. As the NHS slashes IVF funding, the film also explores how this decision will impact on people and sectors of society that don’t have the funds for private treatments and asks if it’s time for the Government to review the current regulatory framework.

The Medway screening will take place from 12.00 to 13.00 on Monday September 17 in the Dockyard Church at Chatham Maritime Historic Dockyard and you can register for this here.

The Canterbury screening will take place from 12.00 to 13.00 on Thursday September 20 in the Gulbenkian Cinema and you can register here.

Entry is free and open to anyone but places are limited. Please reserve a seat by booking through either the Eventbrite Medway or Canterbury page or by contacting Jill Hurst – or ext 3907.


Image details: 

The Mohawk of Consciousness: A new way of analysing brain activity shows a striking difference in the brain activity of two vegetative patients (left and middle). Despite being unresponsive, the patient in the middle had brain activity similar to that of a healthy adult (right).