Meet the Expert - Snot!

  • John Butcher (Presenter)

Activity: OtherTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Schools engagement


Dr John Butcher of UWS joined local immunology researchers from the University of Glasgow and the University of Strathclyde to participate in the Glasgow Science Centre’s Meet the Expert event on 9th-10th of August.
As members of the British Society of Immunology’s (BSI), West of Scotland Immunology Group (WSIG), the event saw the researchers explain how nasal mucus, commonly known as snot, plays an important role in defending our bodies against invading bugs – and isn’t just something to be sneezed at!
Peppered with huge epithelial cells and cartoon MRSA bacteria, the giant nose attracted children and scientists alike. Few could resist crawling inside under the giant nose hairs to see what life is like for the thousands of bacteria living in our noses.
Over 300 children were invited to make some colourful snot in small plastic bags before testing whether the snot could capture dried pasta and hundreds and thousands masquerading as bacteria and viruses. Mums and Dads looked on approvingly as we suggested the benefits of blowing snotty noises to expel bogies and bugs alike.
The Meet the Expert event at the Glasgow Science Centre runs most holiday weekends. It provides a perfect opportunity for scientists to engage with the public’s interest in science and, in turn, for scientists to learn how to communicate their excitement about their research to the public.
PeriodAug 2014
Degree of RecognitionRegional


  • Microbiology
  • Immunology