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18/12/2014

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September 2013

Welcome to the blog, you can read all about the latest news for the sections and take a look in our archive. Scroll through the latest posts below, or select a section from the dropdown.

By Fred Turner, the UK Young Engineer of the Year 2013.

Fred won the senior engineering and technology category of the National Science + Engineering Competition earlier this year, and has recently finished his A levels. He’ll be starting his degree in biochemistry at the University of Oxford in the autumn.

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EUCYS is the European Union Contest for Young Scientists which is held in a different European city every year and is a hub for young scientists not just from Europe but from all over the world. To enter EUCYS you need to have won a national science competition and as I won the National Science + Engineering Competition this year I was lucky enough to be able to represent the UK at EUCYS.

by Robert Martin-Short

Robert attended the British Science Festival 2013 as part of the British Science Association student bursary scheme.

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The first thirteen years of the 21st century have seen more than their fair share of earthquake disasters; Sumatra 2004, Sichuan 2008 and Haiti 2010 to name just a few. The aftermath of the magnitude 9.0 Tohoku earthquake on 11th March 2011 thus represents yet another example of the challenges the growing human population faces here on our restless planet.

By Alison Crowther, Dialogue and Engagement Specialist at Sciencewise

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Sciencewise is lucky – we get to know and talk in depth about new science or data that most people have never even heard of. Remember that burger which came from cow cells but not a cow? We were talking about that three years ago with a group of the public who discussed whether and how the Government should respond to, or pursue this research.

by Cassim Akhoon, a medical student from King’s College London.

Cassim attended the British Science Festival in Newcastle as part of the British Science Association student bursary scheme.

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With a title like ‘You heard it here first’, I expected to hear of some jaw dropping inventions, and to be provided with ‘is that even possible?’ moments. You’ll be pleased to know I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Five great scientists had no more than five minutes to persuade the audience that their research would have the greatest impact not just on us – the individuals – but also the world as a whole.

By Kate Prescott

Kate was awarded a bursary by her college to attend the British Science Festival 2013. She is about to begin a degree in Natural Sciences at Cambridge, and has recently launched her own blog about STEM opportunities, such as summer schools and taster days for students of all ages – http://www.passionateaboutscience.co.uk/ – to share her love of the subject and give information on upcoming events to support students from all backgrounds in their quest to become scientists! You can follow her on Twitter (@Passion_Science) or find her on Facebook (Passionate About Science).

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This great talk by Professor David Manning discussed how minerals are a key part of two major global problems – the first on the availability and use of fertilisers, particularly between developed and developing countries, and the second on climate change and how minerals could be used as mass carbon capture and storage.

Andrew Macdonell is a chemistry PhD student entering his last year at the University of Glasgow. He works with polyoxometalates, trying to produce new materials which will save the world or, at the very least, get him his degree. In an effort to preserve some vestige of his social skills, he likes to talk to people about science (in appropriate settings) and convince them that it’s not all as bafflingly complicated as it might first appear. Being something of an addict for extracurricular activities, in his spare time, he normally likes to have a little lie down.

He is a contributor for the blog http://www.thescifact.wordpress.com/

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Having been lulled into a false sense of security by the cosy proximity of my first two days of talks at the British Science Festival, the discovery that my next booking was a short metro ride away was something of a shock, especially given the five minutes I’d left myself to get there. One mad dash and ten minutes of accosting strangers about the whereabouts of the Literature and Philosophical Society of Newcastle later, I stumbled slightly late into the cosy meeting room and, trying to hide my breathlessness and shame, skulked into a seat near the back of the room.

By Lewis Dartnell

Lewis Dartnell

Lewis  is a UK Space Agency research fellow at the University of Leicester, and author of ‘Life in the Universe – A Beginner’s Guide’ and the illustrated children’s book ‘My Tourist's Guide to the Solar System’. This blog post was written as part of the series of posts on the latest Public Attitudes to Science survey being conducted by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and Ipsos MORI.

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There is something about the stars, planets and galaxies in outer space that really seems to capture people’s imagination. And this certainly came across in the last Public Attitudes to Science (PAS) survey. Humanity has always been a curious species, constantly peering towards the horizon to wonder what lies beyond. A few centuries ago, courageous sailors set into the unknown to discover new lands and today we’re able to explore whole other worlds.

by Anisha Tailor, Press Office Assistant at the British Science Festival 2013

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Women talk about a lot. But have I ever had an in-depth conversation about what my lady parts look like with a pal? Not a chance. And an impromptu survey of my nearest and dearest revealed they hadn’t either.  Me, asking “Do you ever talk about what your labia look like?” was as about as in-depth as it got.

By Katie Griffiths, Young People's Programme Assistant at the British Science Association

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"Has the public engagement project stalled?" This was the question Professor Lisa Jardine asked in her Presidential Address as the British Science Festival drew to a close last week. Over the past decade, public interest and enthusiasm about science has increased hugely, so why do we appear to have hit a wall when it comes to public engagement in science policy?

By Katie Griffiths, Young People’s Programme Assistant at the British Science Association

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Today, on the last day of the British Science Festival 2013, Bryce Dyer gave a challenging and exciting talk on prosthesis, disability and the role of technology in sport for the Isambard Kingdom Brunel Award lecture, the last in the British Science Association’s Award lecture series. I’m sure I won’t be the only member of the audience who spends many hours over the next few days pondering the difficult questions that Bryce raised during his talk, discussing them over the dinner table, and generally scratching my head trying to come to a conclusion about what is right and what’s just going one step too far.

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