Previously called the UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCMRI), the Institute isn’t without controversy. As there are plenty of places on the internet to discuss the animal rights issues raised by the lab, including CamdenDangerLab we won’t take discussion on those issues here.
Background to local opposition on the grounds that housing rather than laboratories should have been built on the site can be found at the St Pancras and Somers Town Planning Action Group site.
Given that construction is well underway, what impact will the Crick have on our community? It’s a very large site starting immediately behind the British Library and stretching to Brill Place, and from Ossulston Street in the west to the Midland Road side of St Pancras station. Plans include a pedestrian, and possibly cycle, path to run east/west through the site, a healthy living centre on Ossulston Street whose actual content will be decided on in collaboration with community groups and a huge auditorium available to outside bodies.
And what will really happen inside? Who are these faceless scientists working away behind closed doors? Interestingly the labs will face outwards onto the surrounding streets and walkways and large glass windows will enable us to peer inside to see what they are doing. The scientists themselves are keen to discuss the work they’ll be doing and the impact they hope it will have:
Pop into the Crick’s visitors centre and you’ll see scale models of the building, pick up the Crick’s ‘Community’ magazine and put some names and faces to those scientists and view the explanatory exhibition.
In this spirit of transparency, King’s Cross Community Projects asked Katie Matthews (community engagement manager at the Crick) if the Crick would be interested in chatting to the community online. KCCP wondered if the designers, builders and scientists would want to openly talk with a wide cross-section of us using this community website – live and online. They are very, very interested. So we’d like to arrange a webchat with the Crick. What do you think? Would you have questions about the building and/or the work that will be done there? How do you see it fitting into our community? How is this huge Institute supporting our community, if at all, and how will that continue?
And of course, you may well want to know… whatever happened to Watson?!