This page details past outreach events, ran by the PREP team, for more information about past events please visit the contact page.

Whose Data is it Anyway? Using health records for medical research: Is it practical? Is it accurate? Is it ethical?

On Saturday 14th April members of the PREP team, in collaboration with Brighton and Sussex Medical School's widening participation programme 'Brightmed', ran a day's session for young people interested in medical research, and the potential ethical and moral issues which comes with it.

Brightmed, developed by BSMS to engage with the community, is a schools outreach programme which identifies young people in the Sussex area with the potential to become tomorrow's doctors. The young people involved are supported by a rolling five-year programme which works with students through to the end of year 13.

In this session students considered the ethical and scientific issues as they planned an investigation of an emerging clinical concern. We used the example of ivermectin, a drug used in the treatment of scabies, about which there was a "scare" in the mid 1990. In this case, we tried to understand the possible causes of an apparent increase in deaths in elderly patients receiving a particular drug treatment.

Students in this session had the opportunity to learn about designing a research study, analyse some sample results and discuss questions of consent and confidentiality raised when medical records are used in research projects.

For more information about Brightmed events, please click here.

Who's Looking at your Medical Records?

Along with three other leading academics, Professor Jackie Cassell took to the stage with actors and students to share the wonder of science as part of an Arts Science festival co-hosted by the Ropetackle Centre in Shoreham, and the University of Sussex in October 2010.

The first festival was held last year and proved hugely popular with audiences, who learned what excites physicists, plant scientists and brain researchers with the help of creative interpretations from local artists, performers and schoolchildren.

This series brought together each scientist with an arts "partner", with the aim of illustrating and interpreting the science.

Inspired by aspects of the PREP programme, students at Northbrook college collaborated with Professor Cassell in a performance. Jackie explained why personal health records are vital in building a picture of health in modern Britain, while students from Northbrook College provided their own dramatic interpretation of the points raised in the talk.