Tuesday, 23 August 2016

'Supercharged: Fuelling the future', and my own near future

I'm sorry it has been a while since the last update. To make it up to you all, please follow this link to an amazing science game: Cool biology game link
I also have some very exciting news for those of you who haven't already heard. This year as part of my PhD I have to undertake a 3 month long placement away from the lab. This can be pretty much anything as long as it isn't actually my PhD. I've been incredibly lucky with my placement. 

I'm going to be a media assistant for the 2016 Royal Institution Christmas lectures!

'Supercharged: Fuelling the future'

For those of you who have never heard of/seen the lectures, I highly recommend watching them, Especially this year, given I'm involved! In essence, every year on TV over the Christmas period there are a series of 3-4 hour long lectures on a given science topic. Last years were on Surviving in space and presented by Dr. Kevin Fong. All of them are accessible no matter what your level of scientific knowledge. Back in 2010 Bruce Hood did a series on Neuroscience (My area) and I absolutely loved his way of explaining things and putting a different spin on all of the things I was learning in my degree.

This year, Professor Saiful Islam, Professor of Material Chemistry at the University of Bath is running the lectures (The dude in the picture above). The topic for this year (in case you didn't get it from the rather cryptic title) is energy.

To find out all the interesting details about this years lectures, follow this link: The Royal Institution Lectures information Link
My role in the lectures is as media assistant. This means I'm going to be involved in all the press surrounding the lectures, as well as getting to help out behind the scenes and actually being present for the filming of the lectures themselves! I'm a little scared, as my chemistry and physics knowledge isn't exactly great (Damn it Jim I;m a Biologist not a Chemistry person/physicist!). But, this is the best chance I have of learning all about it. And working alongside Professor Saiful Islam is going to be amazing (i really hope I actually get to speak to him!). Most of my job is going to entail press releases and interviews and such. I'll do some shout outs about what I get involved in so you can all read it or watch it or listen to it (whatever it is).

((There is a good interview with him, which you can find at this link: Interview link ))

It's also the 80th anniversary of the lectures being televised, so they're going to be recreating a bunch of old and iconic experiments, including Faradays electricity generation experiments (hense the topic). They are also apparently inviting back some previous lecturers, so I might get to meet lots of very exciting people during those three months. (If Bruce Hood shows up I may have to fangirl quietly). 

Now this would be cool to do

I'm so very excited about it. I've watched the lectures on and off ever since I was a kid, and always wanted to get into the audience. I never thought I'd actually get to help set them up! And doing the 80th anniversary set is extra special.

If you want to watch any of the old lectures, a bunch of them are online and free to watch. I highly recommend it, they're really good and there is a wide range of topics: Past lectures link

So hopefully I'll do some blog posts about my newly forming understanding about energy so we can all learn together, and those of you with a better understanding of it than me can correct me and hopefully guide me in the right direction. 

(Also, my PhD is going fine. My big experiment is coming to an end, and I've helped out my supervisor on one of her experiments. She is saying I might get to be first author on the paper!)

That's all for now. I'll try and be back soon with my first blog on energy!