Present pleasures and future projects
The British Science Association will be making a visit to Aberdeen from 4 - 9 September 2012 for our annual British Science Festival. With help from local partners and sponsors, the streets will be paved with all things ‘cience for a jam-packed week of hands-on fun, family entertainment, debates and talks and of course the latest discoveries in science, technology and engineering.
It will be nearly 50 years since the Festival last landed on the shores of Aberdeen and we are very excited to be back.
If you are interested in submitting a proposal to be involved in the Festival please visit www.britishsciencefestival.org, click on the proposal link and fill out the form.
x-change in the city
This year’s British Science Festival broke with tradition and the x-change moved off-campus to the city centre. The x-change, as always, brought the best bits of the Festival to the National Media Museum and ventured online with the x-change podcast.
The x-change programme was packed with the full spectrum of Festival speakers and topics ranged from nuclear fuels, a photographic mystery, astrobiology and musical comedy interludes. Once again, we’d like to thank all our speakers and our tireless volunteers for making it happen.
Missed it? Have a look at the x-change blog and podcast here: thexchange.podbean.com
CREST students win for team GB in Europe.
Three talented CREST students who won a place in the European Union Contest for Young Scientists via the National Science & Engineering Competition have all won awards on the continent for their outstanding project work.
Holly Rees, Martin Thompson and Natalie Mitchell attended the European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS) in Helsinki, Finland during September 2011 to represent the UK.
Holly investigated the signals that cells use to turn from stem cells into specialist cells which could assist in the research of organ regeneration, improved healing processes for injuries and the treatment of degenerative diseases. She impressed the judges with her project and was awarded the Third Prize of €3,500.
Martin’s project, ‘Optical Characterisation & Mechanical Design for Accurate Imaging’ saw him improve on the existing CityScan air quality monitoring system, in collaboration with the University of Leicester. Martin picked up the Joint Research Centre special donated prize to visit the institute for environment and sustainability in Italy.
Natalie also wowed the judges with her work and communication skills and picked up €5,000 for her Second place at the contest. Her project, ‘Auto-focusing in Fluorescence Microscopy’ saw Natalie develop a method for microscopes to focus on specimens at a much faster rate and with a significantly higher resolution than current microscopes to give images that are much more useful for scientific research.
Strengthening community engagement
The Science in Society team have run successful workshops on asthma and allergies with both the Newham African Caribbean Carers Forum and the over 50s South Asian social group at the Grange Interlink in Bradford, as part of their commitment to increasing the accessibility of the sciences.
Participants had the opportunity to share their experiences and learn more about the condition and its link to allergies through hands-on activities, videos, booklets and talking with asthma specialists.
The workshops are part of ComScience, an EU-funded project bringing the latest science and health research to the public across different European cities.
Happy Birthday to us!
The British Science Association (formally the British Association for the Advancement of Science) reached the ripe old age of 180 on 27 September this year. 1831 was also the year that Michael Faraday constructed the first dynamo and Charles Darwin embarked on his historic voyage aboard HMS Beagle.
The Association’s early years will be remembered for the coining of the term 'scientist', Joule’s experiments, the first use of the term 'dinosaur', the debate on Darwinism between Huxley and Wilberforce, and the first demonstration of wireless transmission. Today our work has shifted to wider societal goals where we work to encourage public discussion about science and engineering and their implications.
While our annual Festival is our flagship, our National Science & Engineering Week has now been running for 18 years and our CREST Awards have, during the last 25 years, engaged over 500,000 5-19 year-olds in inspiring project-based research.