Jump to navigation Jump to content

BioQuarter scientists answer questions from local residents on coronavirus


Edinburgh BioQuarter has collaborated with the Thistle Foundation – a health and wellbeing charity based in the heart of Craigmillar – to answer questions from local residents on the coronavirus.

The coronavirus has changed all our lives in many ways over the past year. Despite the daily news coverage, many people still have questions and are unsure where to look for accurate and up-to-date information.

Local data from the end of February also showed that the number of people in Craigmillar and Niddrie testing positive for COVID-19 was four times higher than the rest of Edinburgh.

To help address concerns and provide answers, we invited members of the community to put their questions directly to scientists from Edinburgh BioQuarter. This engagement was carried out in partnership with the Thistle Foundation who arranged a leaflet drop in the local area, inviting questions by post or email.

We received a wide range of interesting and thought-provoking questions on a number of topics, including the COVID vaccine, the immune system and long COVID.

These questions were shared with local scientists Dr Thomas Christie Williams, Paediatrician and Clinical Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, and Dr Samantha Griffiths, Senior Research Fellow, Infection Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, who provided answers through a series of short video recordings.

The initiative was part of the award-winning Edinburgh BioQuarter Community Engagement Project, which aims to support people living and working around the BioQuarter.

Dr Cathy Southworth, Community Engagement Manager for Edinburgh BioQuarter, said:

“Our aim is to ensure that local people are able to benefit from their location and access to top scientists. It therefore seemed the obvious thing to do – to invite them to put their COVID questions directly to local scientists. By working in partnership with the Thistle Foundation, we have been able to reach out and engage with people in the community who may have had no prior connection with the BioQuarter, allowing us to offer our support to them during these challenging times.”

The videos are now available to view on the Thistle website:

A text version of all the questions and answers is also available to download.