Public Engagement

Before You Were Born
– Public Engagement Event, Saturday 2nd September

On the Saturday afternoon of our IFPA meeting we are planning a public engagement event titled ‘Before You Were Born’. The idea is to inform the general public about the placenta and to tell them about the research on the placenta that is happening in Manchester and across the world.

 There will be 5 concurrent sets of activities:

  1. Meet the Scientists: young investigators from around the world will each have 5 minutes to share and discuss their research with the public.
  2. Art, poetry, photographs and other media will be used to tell the public about the placenta.
  3. Research and You: research midwives and clinicians will describe what happens in our placenta-focused clinics.
  4. A Vital Connection: activities for both children and adults to learn about the placenta and how it affects the way a baby grows.
  5. Still Born: art exhibition by UK based Dutch born artist Adinda van 't Klooster will show sculptures and drawings on the theme of stillbirth.

 We hope that you will join us for this free event. To find out more and register your interest in attending please visit:

 If you would like to be involved in delivering this public engagement event please contact Michelle Desforges (



  1. We need poets. If you write poetry and you have verse you would be willing to display, or write specifically for our event, please contact Michelle Desforges (
  2. Remember to enter your placenta images into the IFPA image competition (full details can be found here). Shortlisted entries will be displayed during ‘Before You Were Born’.
  3. Early career researchers are also encouraged to join the ECR Facebook group at (Pis, please spread the word to new students). This will help our ECR reps circulate relevant news and gather opinions in the lead-up to IFPA.


Art exhibition: Still Born

During’ Before You Were Born’ and throughout the IFPA conference we will also be hosting Still Born. This art exhibition by UK based Dutch born artist Adinda van ‘t Klooster shows sculptures and drawings on the theme of stillbirth. Globally there are 2.6 million stillbirths a year and in the UK alone there are ten stillbirths a day. Many of these stillbirths are caused by placenta related complications. If stillbirth was discussed more openly it could help avoid at least some of the preventable deaths and would ease the alienation felt by those who suffer it. This exhibition aims to help break the taboo on stillbirth and is supported by funding from the Arts Council England, Northern Print and NIHR.