Barts and Queen Mary Virtual Science Festival 2022

This year Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry (“Barts”) and Queen Mary University of London will be holding their annual festival virtually on Friday 10 June 2022 from 10am to 4pm, online only. The event is family friendly and aimed at older secondary school children, sixth formers and teachers / careers advisors.

Paul Curzon will be giving a talk at 3pm on “The illusion of good medical device design”. Find out more about the talk as well as additional resources here.

We’ll update this page nearer the time with details of his talk and further reading, and more information about the festival generally.

To register for updates (and hear when tickets become available) send an email to

The format will be live virtual talks and activities using a mix of Teams and Zoom with additional activities launched on the Festival website on the same day. There are already lots of interesting science activities there to browse from the 2021 virtual science festival – for example a robot video on science coding, a science dashboard and a virtual clinical careers flipbook. These are listed alphabetically in the “Activities” section.

Barts and Queen Mary Science Festival 2022 – summary
• Friday 10 June 2022
• 10am to 4pm (Paul’s talk at 3pm for half an hour)
• For older secondary pupils and teachers
• Festival website:
• Festival contact:

The abstract for Paul Curzon’s talk

The illusion of good medical device design
Professor Paul Curzon
Queen Mary University of London

Using illusions, puzzles and examples of good and bad medical device design, we will explore how programmers can prevent medical error with good interaction design. When disasters occur, human error is often given as the reason, but even experts make mistakes using poor technology. Rather than blame the person, human error should be seen as a design failure. Bad design can make mistakes more likely and good design can often eliminate them. This is especially important if the gadgets are medical devices where mistakes can have enormous consequences. The best computer scientists and programmers don’t just understand technology, they understand people too, and especially our fallibilities. If they don’t, then mistakes using their software and gadgets are more likely. If people make mistakes, don’t blame the person, fix the design and save lives.

More resources supporting this talk…

The page supporting this talk contains more examples of poor medical device design as well as links to related articles and our related cs4fn magazines.