On 8th February, the Cambridge Science Centre will be opening at 18 Jesus Lane. It is a space for interactive learning and discovery, as well offering a chance for all to appreciate just how amazing science can be. The main goal of the Science Centre is to bring science to people, whether that’s schoolchildren, parents or adults who have a passing interest but few means of satisfying it.
What we have been especially keen to emphasise is the collaborative nature of the Science Centre. The core team behind it form a menagerie of different backgrounds, experiences and approaches. We have individuals with chemistry or physics degree, years or research experience, who are business savvy and well versed in the art of public engagement.
The Science Centre also works with a broad range of researchers and communicators across the region, and so is able to draw on a diverse wealth of knowledge to design exhibitions for the public.
Our opening exhibition features the wonders of light, electricity and magnetism with an array of wonderful hand-built exhibit tables, where people can play with these natural phenomena.
“There’s more to the complexity of life than DNA, because there are multiple examples of situations where the same DNA sequence can generate many different outcomes.”
So says Nessa Carey, who will be presenting her thoughts at a joint Cambridge AWiSE / Lucy Cavendish College event on 28th February (6-7pm). Nessa is a former academic who has worked for over a decade in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. She is the author of the popular science book “The Epigenetics Revolution”, published in 2011.
The new science of epigenetics explains phenomena as diverse as the different cell types in the human body, the colours of tortoiseshell cats, the lifespans of queen bees, the interactions between nature and nurture and exciting new therapies for cancer. More controversially, it may also underlie adult consequences of childhood trauma, and even lead to Lamarckian inheritance of acquired characteristics.
This promises to be a fascinating talk, so do come and join us. Registration details are here…
“Nessa Carey … writes brightly and humanely and is full of optimism for this exciting new dawn – both for the deep understanding of life and the potential for medical applications.” (The Guardian, 19th August 2011)
Many AWiSE members are research bioscientists and how many of you have made New Year’s resolutions involving taking some positive action towards your career?
Now might be the time to invest in Sarah Blackford’s book ‘Career Planning for Research Bioscientists’…. Sarah has been working as a careers advisor for Lancaster University and as the Head of Education and Public Affairs for the Society of Experimental Biology for years. The book covers theories of career planning as well as practical aspects of capitalising on your assets. It covers how to write effective CVs, improve your interview technique and where and how to find jobs and ends with a ‘coaching’ chapter to get you action planning.
Sarah gave an enthusiastically received workshop at the WiSE UP career day in June last year on understanding Myers-Briggs personality types. Her expertise in the area of self-awareness is put to use for you in chapter 3.
There is a dedicated section for issues specific to women in chapter 5. I thought the appendices are really illustrative, they cover career narratives (which a lot of people like, as feedback to our events where women talk about their careers attest), social media, example CVs and a list of (web) resources, including a whole page on women in science.
On Thursday evening a good crowd of 40-50 people joined Prof Margaret Stanley at Lucy Cavendish College.
Prof Stanley was an eloquent speaker and who gave a talk that was interesting to both biologists (of which there are quite a few at Cambridge AWiSE), those with a background in other STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths), and the parents in the audience with daughters taking part in the immunisation program.
Please join us on 8th November for an evening lecture with Professor Margaret Stanley.
“The development of vaccines and immunotherapies against human papillomaviruses, the cause of cervix cancer”
Professor Stanley is Professor of Epithelial Biology in the University of Cambridge. She was awarded the OBE for services to Virology in 2004 and is a member of the Spongiform Encephalopathies Advisory Committee that advises the UK government on prion diseases. Her research focuses on mechanisms of host defence and the development of vaccines and immunotherapies against human papillomaviruses, the cause of cervix cancer. She will also discuss the current vaccination programme for girls.
8th November, Wood Legh Room, Lucy Cavendish College, 6-7pm. Please arrive early. The talk is free but please register in advance here.
The event will be followed by formal hall (Science, Engineering, Maths, Computer Science and Geography) at Lucy Cavendish College. 7pm for 7.30pm, £22.05. Everyone welcome. Please contact Jenny Koenig (jk111 at cam.ac.uk) if you would like to attend. Please book early as places are limited.