Seven people. 15 minutes. The challenge? To have one conversation. A conversation to help beat cancer. Conversation C. For 15 minutes, the power will be in your hands. What will you decide?

Conversation C is an interactive debate and sound installation about the future of cancer research that was first presented at Green Man 2015. The project was developed by Einstein’s Garden in collaboration with Cancer Research UK and scientists from UCL.

An open-air sound installation invited people to consider multiple perspectives and opinions about cancer research.

This sound installation was created from on interviews with more than 20 cancer researchers, medical professionals and cancer patients.

Each sound station explored one of six areas of cancer research: Current Treatments, New Treatments, Lifestyle, Genetics, Diagnosis and What is Cancer?

All six parts of the sound installation are available online to be streamed and shared, allowing anyone to reflect for themselves about the future of cancer research.

It was really interesting because we got to learn a lot from each other, and other people here participating in the conversation.

– Conversation C audience member, Green Man 2015

The audience were then encouraged to step into the conversation pod in groups, and given a deceptively simple challenge: 15 minutes to agree on how cancer research resources should be allocated.

As the hourglass counted down, each member of the conversation had a say in how their limited resources should be allocated across the six different areas. Perspex cubes shuttled back and forth as the debates took place, with cancer experts offering their perspectives and others talking from personal experience.

You wouldn’t normally sit down and start discussing that on a Saturday night when the television’s on! So it is nice to actually have something where you can go and sit down and think about it.

– Conversation C audience member, Green Man 2015

Conversation C was supported by Cancer Research UK and the Wellcome Trust, as part of a three-year award experimenting with new approaches to creative science engagement. It was first presented in Einstein’s Garden at Green Man 2015. 

Read the project evaluation report

Conversation C was produced by Einstein’s Garden in collaboration with Cancer Research UK, UCL scientists, SOUND DESIGNER JOE GALBRAITH AND PERFORMER JOHN BANNISTER.

We took Conversation C to the iconic Camden Market on 7 and 8 April 2016. Over two days, dozens more people shared their perspectives on the future of cancer research.