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.
L to R: Jenny Brookman (CamAWiSE), Harriet Fear (One Nucleus), Amie Blake (MRC-LMB)
“What Next After Academia: Life Science Careers and Company Networks” with Harriet Fear, CEO, One Nucleus
Joint CamAWiSE/MRC-LMB Meeting, Cambridge, 25th May 2012.
As a PhD graduate with couple of years experience in industry, I have always wondered what could be the right career path for me if I cannot peruse an academic career. How and where can I start my quest for success? If I want to start up a business what are the available resources and where can I get help? Hence the MRC-CamAWiSE event, that hosted One Nucleus CEO, Harriet Fear, was an excellent opportunity to answer my questions.
The event introduced by Jenny Brookman from CamAWISE who welcomed the attendees with a short introduction to the CamAWISE network, a non-profit organisation that brings together women in STEM careers from academia, enterprise and industry and acts as a source of support, information and inspiration.
Harriet started her presentation with a brief introduction of her career history with the British Foreign Office for 21 years serving in over 17 countries around the globe. She joined One Nucleus (formerly ERBI) as CEO in 2009 with a mission to redefine the OneNucleus membership (now life science and healthcare, not only biotech) and to form strong and strategic relations with like-minded US counterparts for the benefit of its members. In order to achieve these goals One Nucleus merged with the London Biotechnology Network to enhance the offer to members and create a stronger critical mass on the international stage.
Jenifer Glynn: “My Sister Rosalind Franklin”.
Thurs 17th May 2012 at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge.
As a chemistry undergraduate I was always subliminally aware of Rosalind Franklin, that she made an important contribution to the biological applications of x-ray diffraction but that there was some controversy though I wasn’t quite what it was all about. Doing my PhD at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge I walked past her model of tobacco mosaic virus regularly without actually realising what it was and who made it. So when the opportunity arose to invite her sister Jenifer Glynn to speak about her forthcoming book “My Sister Rosalind Franklin” it was a great opportunity to clarify those myths.
Jenifer put paid to those myths and described Rosalind’s character with clarity and obvious affection. Her talk was illustrated with a wealth of family photos showing Rosalind first as a small child with an infectious sense of humour and fun. Then as an adult on holiday in the mountains, clearly a very free spirit, enjoying climbing and long walks, attempting quite dangerous climbing trips, motoring through Europe. The picture she drew was of a fun-loving woman and a very dedicated and conscientious scientist: a picture quite at odds with the dour-sounding “dark lady of DNA.”
Rosalind’s contribution to science was not just in investigating the structure of DNA, that in itself lasted only two years. Prior to her work on DNA she made important contributions to the understanding of the structure of coal and its porosity during her time in Paris. After the work on DNA at Kings College London, which was marred by the unpleasantness of her work environment, she had success with the structure of the tobacco mosaic virus and embarked on the structure of the polio virus.
I was really looking forward to reading The Honest Look for three or four reasons but it turned out to be even more than I bargained for! I am not going to sketch the story line of this book about a young woman, freshly graduated from her doctorate, and also hope the following won’t give too much away…
The novel is lablit, literature set in a scientific lab. Jenny coined that term! Ever since my PhD I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a novel loosely based on my and colleagues’ experiences but just haven’t got the literary talent or drive to have a proper go. Luckily, Jenny does.
Like the idea of the WiSE UP: Strategies for Success in STEM career day on 22nd June but not sure you can afford it?
There is good news if your science background is in biochemistry (in the widest possible sense). Cambridge AWiSE has been awarded one of three Biochemical Society Gender Equality in Science Grants 2012 allowing us to offer three fully sponsored places to attend the event.
Fancy applying? See here for all the details – deadline 28th May.
“What Next After Academia: Life Science Careers and Company Networks” Harriet Fear, CEO, One Nucleus (www.onenucleus.com)
Friday 25th May, 12:15-14:00 (talk from 12:30-13:15, followed by networking lunch). Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Addenbrooke’s Site
Cambridge AWiSE are delighted to welcome Harriet Fear to our 5th MRC-AWiSE event. Harriet will discuss the role company networks play in global business and how networking on all levels contributes to success. One Nucleus (formerly ERBI) is the largest membership organisation in Europe, with over 450 members including pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and diagnostic companies. Its mission is to maximise the global competitiveness of its members. This talk will be of interest to those pursuing a career in academia or industry and looking to make the most of networking and networks to augment research, development and commercialisation.