(S)potted: SuperLAB

SuperLAB mixes science and art to explore the science of comic books, from how science and art influence each other to whether the super abilities conjured up from comic books and science fiction can soon become a reality. The faces behind SuperLAB consist of a mixture of post-doctoral and PhD researchers, artists and science enthusiasts. Among them is Chris Street, a PhD student specialising in how people try to spot a liar.

Their first task has been to explore how close we are to comic book superbowers.
‘2053 AD. Humankind has harnessed the super abilities of comic books and science fiction. The latest techniques and technology are applied to track down criminals. Reading minds and controlling people’s thoughts are possible to the skilled few. Roll back 40 years to 2013. How close are we to attaining these abilities? Probably closer than you think.’

SuperLAB organised their first series of events in February 2013. They brought people together to pose questions about what psychologists and neurologists have to say about whether an artist’s skills are innate or learned. Can taking drugs affect your creativity? CSI skills were also put to the test in a SuperLAB crime scene. Think bone cutting, lifting fingerprints and the lie detector. They have since put supervillains’ deception ability to the test using a lie detector at The Lost Lectures.

Based on the success of this first series, SuperLAB is now looking at further workshops, talks and events, bringing the unimaginable to life.



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