Published: 11 February 2014

‘Big Brain’ Guinness World Record attempt


Students, staff, patients and members of the public are being urged to get involved with a Guinness World Record attempt to create the ‘largest human image of an organ’.

The attempt is being led by Professor Tom Solomon, Head of the Institute of Infection and Global Health, and will take place in University Square at midday on Thursday, 20 February.

The Big Brain World Record attempt will mark the first ever World Encephalitis Day, and will be created by hundreds of people assembling at the University and standing in the shape of a Big Brain.

Professor Solomon researches encephalitis – a disease characterised by inflammation and swelling of the brain, often caused by a virus. It occurs right across the globe, and can affect all ages. As well as heading the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Infection and Global Health, Professor Solomon also looks after patients at The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, and works closely the Alder Hey Hospital, and with the Encephalitis Society.

Professor Solomon is a seasoned record breaker, previously holding the title for the ‘fastest marathon dressed as a doctor’, and next week will be leading the formation of the Big Brain. Artistic direction is being provided by an Arts A-Level student, along with Liverpool artist Mike Badger.

To represent the different lobes of the brain, participants will be given different coloured rain ponchos, and to add to the occasion they will be attempting to create the largest ever brain wave. A team from Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) are helping make it into a real science-art performance and support for the event is also coming from the Wellcome Trust.

The event is free but participants need to register to take part. For more details please visit the website.

Commenting on the World Record attempt Professor Solomon said: “Encephalitis occurs right across the globe, and can affect all ages, so we would like to attract people from all communities and all ages to help make up the Big Brain. In Liverpool, we are doing more research to combat encephalitis than anywhere else in the world, with major projects in the UK, Asia and Africa; so it seems fitting that the Big Brain will mark World Encephalitis Day right here in the city.

“There is the chance to learn more about the brain and this important disease, both from researchers, and people affected by the condition. But we will also have a lot of fun, seeing what our Big Brain can do!”

For further information, please contact Nicola Frost at

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