I wanted to ensure we continue these sessions because the collaborative nature of our partnership with Paper Garden and the ethos of the space have allowed researchers to participate alongside community members in an equitable way, sharing their knowledge and experience of healthcare research as well as listening to the lived knowledge of health in the local communities.Deanna Naula, Community Engagement Officer, School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences
30 January 2024
Forging connections through food and science
King’s researchers, in collaboration with Global Generation and the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Science's Public Engagement team are running regular community sessions for local residents to connect with nature, food and science.
In a recent session held at The Paper Garden, Canada Water, the group looked at ‘personalised medicine’. The Paper Garden, on the site of the old Daily Mail Printworks in Canada Water, provides an invaluable community-focused green space in this rapidly developing area.
The School's Aishwarya Mishra and Navodini Wijethilake started the evening off with presentations on their research focusing on Nuclear Imaging and Artificial Intelligence for personalised medicine, respectively.
The session showed how simple solutions can lead to a healthier life, emphasizing the continued significance of our traditional remedies in fostering a well-connected life with nature, while staying intertwined with the technological innovations shaping our world.
“I really enjoyed talking about how Artificial Intelligence can help with personalized medicine. AI is a hot topic, and it's important to let people know about an exciting future of better treatments,” says Navodini.
The group also discussed what personally gives them comfort when they are feeling ill, with various teas and soups being the most common practice.
The Paper Garden’s Community Chef and Gardener, Diva Garg showed the group how to make fire cider, a mixture of immunity boosters like citrus, garlic, honey and vinegar.
Conversation flourished as participants were able to create a tailored version of the recipe with more, or less, of the ingredients they enjoy.
“I’m interested in how we can think about science in conjunction with nature, ancient medicine, and food and consider how they are not isolated,” Diva says.
Finally, the group sat down to a meal generously prepared by The Paper Garden team, including vegetables from their garden.
“It’s really nice for people to gather and come together for food over a specific topic. And that is when you get the most interesting conversations coming about.
"The great thing about this event is that researchers come with a lot of knowledge and background, and provide a space for open conversation. Which is important when you have people coming from so many different places,” says Diva.
The School's Community Engagement Officer, Deanna Naula restarted the collaboration with The Paper Garden in 2023 and has been the driving force behind these sessions.