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17/09/2014

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Blog

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 Holly Plummer, Senior Pipeline Integrity Engineer, GE Oil & Gas.

Holly joined PII Pipeline Solutions ( a GE Oil & Gas and Al Shaheen joint venture) in 1997 after finishing a degree in Mathematic. Her first role was as a Data Analyst analysing pipeline inspection data. In 1998 she joined the Pipeline Integrity Services Department where she now works as a Senior Integrity Engineer conducting technical assessments of oil & gas’ pipelines focusing on safety and quality. During her time with the company, Holly has studied on a part time basis and gained an MSc in Pipeline Engineering from Newcastle University.

Holly lives with her partner and 2 young sons, Joseph and Alex. Outside work Holly enjoys spending time with family & friends, and keeping fit. Her latest interest is karate where she is working towards a blue belt.

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Pipelines are a really efficient way of moving oil and gas from place to place and a lot of scientific knowledge goes into building them. They need to be built to last, resist corrosion so they don’t rust and withstand high pressures so they don’t crack or burst. PII Pipeline Solutions provides an essential inspection service for pipelines to make sure they are still safe and efficient, which also requires a lot of scientific know-how.

by Jennifer Toes, Press Office Assistant at the British Science Festival 2013

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This afternoon the British Science Festival was illuminated by four cognitive neuroscientists discussing their research into brain plasticity and its role in our ability to learn. Brain plasticity refers to the concept that the brain can change and remap itself over the course of our lives through learning new skills and experiencing new things.

By Lucy Bain. Lucy is a PhD student at University of East Anglia, researching how our diet can influence stroke risk and risk factors such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels. She is visiting the Festival as part of the British Science Association student bursary scheme.

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On Sunday I went out to Jesmond Dene for a BioBlitz – for those that don’t know, a BioBlitz is an attempt to record as many living species (mammals, birds, plants etc.) in a given area – this case Jesmond Dene – in a 24 hour time period. So it's essentially a race to find, identify and record as much as possible!

By Lizzie Gemmell

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Five minutes into Dr Michael Sweet’s Award Lecture at the British Science Festival and we felt a million miles from a rainy Newcastle afternoon. His talk began with a dazzling introduction into the weird and wonderful world of corals, with stunning photos of the octo-coral, the cabbage coral and even the Great British coral (a white, spindly coral found around the UK).

by Kate Prescott

Kate has been 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 – 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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A discussion on a Bill in the House of Lords sounds more suitable for a politics festival than a science one, nonetheless the lecture theatre was packed with people hoping to hear Lord Robert Winston's talk at the British Science Festival. Adam Rutherford interviewed the famous science researcher and communicator about his recent Bill, followed by a popular Q+A session.

by Kate Prescott
Kate has been 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 –

Martha HensonBy Martha Henson, Co-Director of edugameshub.com and a freelance digital producer. She believes that one way to improve public engagement is in the development of science based games. 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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In the 2011 Public Attitudes to Science survey, typically the participants expressed an interest in science when it was presented in an entertaining way, whether that be through newspaper articles or television shows. However, very few of the participants identified games or gaming as a way of engaging with science.

by Simon Watt, President for Life of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society

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My name is Simon Watt and I am the President for Life of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society a comedy night with a conservation twist.  We invite stand-ups who dabble in science and scientists who dabble in stand-up to each comically champion a different ugly endangered species.  At the end of each night we give the audience the chance to vote for what will become the ugly animal mascot for their town.

by Imran Khan, Chief Executive of the British Science Association. Imran discusses the history behind the upcoming Huxley debate and why we've decided to go back to our roots.

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The British Science Association is launching the first in a new series of Huxley debates at our Festival this September, with the upcoming debate focusing on epigenetics. But why are we doing this?

by Aubrey de Grey, Chief Science Officer of the SENS Research Foundation, who will be discussing whether a "cure" for ageing is within reach at the British Science Festival on Monday 9 September.

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