Scientists and biomedical researchers working at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) in Barcelona, Spain have recently starred in a fun music video, putting on the moves as they dance to raise awareness and funding. Working in the fields of research into cancer, metastasis, diabetes and Alzheimer’s, scientists and researchers, including the institute’s boss, danced around their laboratories in Barcelona’s Science Park, as well as a couple of popular and iconic landmarks in the city.
The dance video is aimed at boosting awareness of their important research into not only cures, but also medical advancements and treatments, to advance their recruitment efforts, bringing in new scientists as well as graduate students, and attract much needed support.
According to Anna Merlos, Strategic Projects and Philanthropy Officer at IRB, the biomedicine scientists haven’t just simply resorted to dancing to raise cash. She said they wish to put a human face on the scientists and researchers for the whole world to see. She added that they want people to understand that they don’t just hide themselves away in their labs and that they are like all young people, everywhere in the world, and that they have the same dreams, fears and hopes.
The government in Spain has received much criticism and protests in the streets in recent years, over the various austerity measures it has initiated during the current economic crisis. These measures include budget cuts and the reduction in funding for science, which has severely impacted biomedicine. While the video is not a substitute for public funding, Merlos says that this will work together with other initiatives they have on the go. She added that it is a fun way to not only bring in much needed funding, but also to raise awareness to their cause as the biomedicine scientists dance around the institute.
Joan Guinovart, founder and director of the Institute for Research in Biomedicine, and a pretty good dancer himself, gave a statement saying that the video and their fund raising campaign is a pioneering initiative for such an institute, involved in basic research. He said that using this fun, community-spirited and friendly approach IRB can point out the fundamental and essential role science plays in the well-being of a society.
As to the video itself, not only do scientists and members of IRB staff show their very fancy moves, but also featured are several children as well as older members of society, in order to highlight the inter-generational aspects of the research carried out at the institute. The backing track is Safe and Sound, performed by U.S. band, Capital Cities, adding the perfect lyrics to the choreography.
The video is just one part or IRB’s fund raising campaign. Every time the video is viewed on YouTube, various generous sponsors of the institute will donate funds. The same sponsors have covered the production costs of the video and have further pledged contributions to directly support the work at IRB. The public is also invited to make donations via IRB’s official website, and a link is included at the end of this article. However, by simply sharing the video showing the scientists and their enthusiastic dance for more people to enjoy, will raise awareness and bring in much needed funding to biomedicine.
By Anne Sewell
Photo Credit: Screen grabs from the video