Over a decade of Men in White!!

After briefly moonlighting as X-Men in White, the Men - and Women! - in White are back!! The fight against organised pasty crime and science in Devon goes on...
For more details about the event click here or take a look at this gallery of pictures.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for links to the XMiW Technical Manual and other resources based on our activities.

Who are Men in White?

Men in White was founded in 2005 by Dr. John Chilton and Dr. Lorna Harries of the University of Exeter Medical School (at the time, Peninsula Medical School). Our aim is to dispel the myth that all scientists are dusty old men with dodgy facial hair who are out of touch with the real world. We run a range of activities to show that scientists come from all kinds of backgrounds and that what they do is exciting and relevant to society.

Much of our efforts are focussed on young people and we have worked closely with schools across the south west for many years to tailor activities to their needs. Our flagship event takes place during National Science and Engineering Week when we invite year 9 pupils into real working labs to have a go at cutting edge techniques.

Men in White are featured in the booklet 'What's in it for me?' produced by Research Councils UK to promote the benefits of public engagement for researchers.

We are both STEM Ambassadors and were among the first group of Catalyst Champions for Public Engagement at the University of Exeter. See the Catalyst blog for more details of what is happening and ways to get involved.

Science affects the whole community so we do not limit our outreach to schools. We are happy to give talks at Women's Institute meetings and public events such as Café Scientifique.

A Small Scientist in a Big World

I started writing accounts of my experiences in public engagement for the Exeter University Catalyst blog but thought it would be easier to start putting them on here. Click here to read about what Marmite has to do with wiring the brain, creative ways of public engagement including singing, stand-up and poetry and more.

Latest news!!

Click here to see a photo gallery of our appearances at the Big Bang South West held annually in Exeter. Men in White host a stall for people to have a go at extracting DNA from bananas and loading DNA onto gels for analysis.


We have a number of handouts that accompany our practicals. Our banana DNA extraction one has been thrilling audiences across Devon for years. Now anyone can try the world's easiest, quickest and sweetest-smelling DNA protocol here (download pdf).
The official X-Men in White Technical Manual is now exclusively available here, giving the details on the Devon pasty scandal, PCR, loading gels and mutant yeast. (download pdf).
Also available:

If you have been to one of our events and would like more detail on the bananas or any of our other activities, please get in touch.