The Secret World of Surgery at the Green Man Festival

For the second year running, Professor Roger Kneebone’s Explore Surgery team took part in the Green Man Festival in Wales.  The festival is an eclectic mix of music, science and art, attracting visitors from across the UK.  Based within the Einstein Garden, Explore Surgery delivered two workshops inviting participants to look at the surgical world from unusual points of view, revealing hidden secrets of the operating theatre.

Ana Rita and stentsFor ‘Who Pulls the Strings?’ Explore Surgery worked with puppeteer Rachel Warr to develop a surgical simulation that demonstrated the similarities between the theatre and the operating theatre.  Puppeteers work closely together, relying on non-verbal communication when manipulating their puppets in order to deliver a high-quality performance.   Similarly, surgical procedures are performed by a closely-knit team in a very different kind of theatre, where communication using the hands is as important as that spoken by mouth.

The collaboration ‘More than Skin Deep’ with sculptor Matt Lane Sanderson saw families working together to create a piece inspired by the use of stents in cardiology interventions.  Participants used techniques from surgery and sculpture to create a stent-like piece of art to take home with them, reflecting on the evolution of surgical techniques, the interactions between man-made and organic structures, and the importance of working together when time and patient safety is at stake.Sharon  stents adjusted colours

Festivalgoers who participated in the activities really enjoyed the experience and learning about the hands-on nature of surgery, and it was also a very rewarding event for team members.

For more details of the team’s participation in the Green Man, head over to their Facebook page

To hear Monocle’s interview with Prof Kneebone from the Green Man festival, visit (the segment starts at 25:15)

Ana Rita Rodrigues
PhD student



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *