Glasgow Science Festival: Inside Out Science

New for Glasgow Science Festival this year is ‘Inside Out Science’, a fun, free family event at the University of the West of Scotland. We spoke to Fiona Menzies for a flavour of what’s in store.

UWS portrait

1. Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Fiona Menzies and I am a Lecturer in Immunology in the School of Science and Sport at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS).

2. What brings you to Glasgow Science Festival this year?

Our School does lots of exciting research in lots of different scientific areas, including biomedical sciences, environmental science, geology, chemistry, forensic science, mathematics and sport science, to name a few.  We thought the Glasgow Science Festival theme of “Glasgow Explores” was very fitting for us, because we explore every aspect of life, from our molecules, to our bodies to the world around us.

3. Why should we come to your event?

We have 26 different activity stalls, designed to be fun and informative for the whole family. Our whole School is behind this event, getting involved, and we are really excited to be hosting this.

4. This year’s festival theme is ‘Glasgow Explores’. Where would you like to explore?

My own research is in reproductive immunology and for me there are still some fundamental gaps in our knowledge about how our immune systems respond to hormones and pregnancy as well as different types of infection.  At present my research is exploring how a parasite, called Toxoplasma gondii, can interact with the placenta.

5. What’s the best thing about being a scientist or engineer?

No two days are ever the same, and you get to do a job where you feel you are contributing something to someone – whether it be improving someone’s life, environment, teaching someone, or adding to knowledge to your field that can be used by the next generation.

Join Fiona and friends at UWS on 8 June for ‘Inside Out Science’ from 5-7pm. Free but ticketed. For full details and booking, visit the website.

 

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Glasgow Science Festival: Fun with Zines

This summer, scientists from across the globe are meeting in Glasgow to discuss one of the biggest challenges of modern times: Climate Change. Among them is Melanie Boeckmann, whose climate change workshop for students will blend creativity with science. She chatted more about what’s in store…

Portrait

1. Who are you and what do you do?

My name’s Melanie Boeckmann and I am a postdoc in Public Health at the Medical Faculty of the Heinrich-Heine-University in Duesseldorf, Germany. I now research ways to encourage patients to stop smoking in a project with partners in Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan. And before that I did my PhD and first postdoc on climate change and health.

2. What brings you to Glasgow Science Festival this year?

I’m excited to be here for the first time and to offer a zine workshop for university students. Zines are independently created little magazines that can be about a million different topics.

3. Why should we come to your event?

You get to draw and write and cut and paste and fold and print and talk all at the same time! Zines are a cool medium to use to express your ideas, and you get to choose whether you want to write about science with a poem, paint your favorite images, or wow us with your rendering of facts in your science magazine. Plus you get to take something physical home with you at the end of the session,

4. This year’s festival theme is ‘Glasgow Explores’. Where would you like to explore?

The question really should be: where wouldn’t I like to explore? But since I’ll be in Scotland for the third time in my life I’ll be looking for little hole-in-the-wall cafés and small bookstores rather than the big sights this time. And I’ll never NOT want to explore places near an ocean.

5. What’s the best thing about being a scientist or engineer?

The best thing about being a researcher is making time to sit and think and then writing some of that thinking down.

Calling all students! Join Melanie for her Climate Change Zine workshop on 8 June. Tickets are free and can be booked online.

Glasgow Science Festival: Exploring Engineering

At this year’s Glasgow Science Festival, we are delighted to welcome a new event from the University of the West of Scotland that will engage the next generation of engineers with cutting-edge research. We chatted to the project lead, Patricia Muñoz-Escalona.

FFTF PICTURE

1. Who are you and what do you do?

I am Patricia Muñoz-Escalona, I am a Materials Engineer with a PhD In manufacturing engineering. I am a lecturer in the University of The West of Scotland and I teach students materials properties, product design, and manufacturing processes. How to select the right material for the right job!

2. What brings you to Glasgow Science Festival this year?

This year the University of the West of Scotland will be hosting the Glasgow Science Festival. We want to share with pupils are knowledge in STEM areas. We want everyone attending the event to enjoy a day full of knowledge, while they learn about the research we conduct here in UWS.

3. Why should we come to your event?

We have prepared a variety of workshops from engineering, computing , science and technology. We’ll have a good overview of the latest technologies that have been developed/applied. Pupils can enjoy the beauty of learning and expanding our knowledge. Attendance at our workshop could be the start of what pupils want to do or be in the future.

4. This year’s festival theme is ‘Glasgow Explores’. Where would you like to explore?

I would like to explore in gravitational waves. Move from wave to wave to see the beauty of the Universe, what is missing and what I can do to make it better!

5. What’s the best thing about being a scientist or engineer?

As a scientist or as an engineer you are always trying to improve people’s lives. You research for this purpose!. You learn and improve every day. You share and transfer knowledge. I enjoy doing STEM outreach activities to primary school students. Young people have loads of creativity and there is loads that I can learn from them.

There are still some places for ‘Engineering & Computing in the 21st Century’ on 14 June. Tickets are free but for SCHOOLS ONLY, S4-S6. For booking and details, visit the website.

Glasgow Science Festival: Promoting Well-being

Glasgow Science Festival is an excellent opportunity for researchers to gather public opinion on issues of importance to science and society. We spoke to a group of researchers who are doing just that, at this year’s family event in Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum.

1. Who are you and what do you do?

We are a team of researchers (Jo McParland, Lisa Kidd & Marilyn Lennon) based at Glasgow Caledonian University, Robert Gordon University and the University of Strathclyde, who collectively come from backgrounds in psychology, nursing and healthcare, and computing and information science.

2. What brings you to Glasgow Science Festival this year?

We want to talk to as many people at the Festival as possible to ask: what makes or keeps you well?

All too often we focus on the negatives and what is wrong with us rather than the positive things that we have in our lives that can benefit our health and well-being. We will use the information that we collect from Festival goers to help us develop research projects in this area that can be used to support people in different situations, such as those with long-term illnesses, to help them to live well and in a positive way.

3. Why should we come to your event?

There will be the opportunity to learn what others have said keeps them well but importantly, this will be a fun and interactive opportunity for Festival goers of all ages to have their ‘voice’ and share what they personally think helps to make or keep them well, healthy or happy.  Attendees will be able to view what others have told us on specially-created poster boards; using stickers, we’ll then ask them to select the five things that they most agree with or add any extra ones that we haven’t yet got!

4. This year’s festival theme is ‘Glasgow Explores’. Where would you like to explore?

We would like to explore what makes the people of Glasgow well. What do they have around them that makes or keeps them well, healthy and happy? People? Places? Themselves? Something else?

5. What’s the best thing about being a scientist or engineer?

Being able to work with and learn from members of the public to understand the issues most important in society that we need to focus on as researchers and academics.

Join Jo, Lisa and Marilyn at Glasgow Science Festival Explores @ Kelvingrove on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 June. For full details, visit the website.

Glasgow Science Festival, en français

SalinK-STRIPED MOUSE PROJECT

As in previous years, we are delighted to welcome back the Café Scientifique de Glasgow. Explore cutting-edge science in the French language. This year’s talk will be led by Dr Karine Salin, who stopped for a chat.

1. Who are you and what do you do?
Peux-tu te présenter et nous dire quel est ton métier ?

I am Karine Salin, post-doc at the University of Glasgow. My research focuses on the mechanisms that underlie growth, reproduction and aging. I look at what is happening with the oxygen we consume and the food we eat.

Je m’appelle Karine Salin. Je suis post-doctorante à l’université de Glasgow. J’étudie les mécanismes qui contrôlent la croissance, la reproduction et le vieillissement. Pour cela,  je regarde ce qui se passe dans la cellule avec l’oxygène que l’on respire et la nourriture que l’on mange.

2. What brings you to Glasgow Science Festival this year?
Qu’est-ce qui t’amène au festival de la science à Glasgow? 

I’m taking part in the French-speaking Café Scientifique as speaker.

Je vais parler de mes recherches au café scientifique, en Français.  

3. Why should we come to your event?
Pourquoi devrait-on venir à ton activité?

You will learn that being small may help you to live longer, have the opportunity to engage with researchers and hopefully, be inspired to become a scientist!

Parce que vous allez apprendre pourquoi être petit peut permettre de vivre plus longtemps, vous aurez l’opportunité d’échanger avec des chercheurs et peut-être même être inspirés pour travail en science!

4. This year’s festival theme is ‘Glasgow Explores’. Where would you like to explore?
Le thème du festival cette année est « Glasgow explore ». Et toi, qu’aimerais-tu explorer ?

I would like to explore how the transfer of knowledge from medical science can help us understand wildlife.

J’aimerais étudier comment le transfert de connaissance en médicine peuvent aider à comprendre la faune.

5. What’s the best thing about being a scientist or engineer?
Quelle est la meilleure chose en tant que scientifique ou ingénieur ?

To learn something new every day, even if all goes wrong!

Apprendre quelque chose de nouveau chaque jour, surtout quand les résultats obtenus ne sont pas ceux attendus.

Join Dr Karine Salin and Dr Nicolas Labrosse  on 13 June at the Alliance française de Glasgow. The event is free and drop-in. Intermediate French advised. For more details, visit our website.

Glasgow Science Festival: Exploring Lister’s Legacy

2017 marks 150 years since surgeon Joseph Lister’s ground-breaking article on antispetic surgery in The Lancet. At this year’s Glasgow Science Festival, we’ll explore Glasgow’s part in this medical milestone with a special lecture by surgeon Pankaj Chandak.

pankaj2

Pankaj Chandak

1. Who are you and what do you do?

I am  a Specialist Registrar in Transplant Surgery at Guy’s, St Thomas’ and Great Ormond Street Hospitals and a Research Fellow within the MRC Centre for Transplantation, King’s College London under Professor Nizam Mamode and Professor Anthony Dorling.

My interests include paediatric transplantation, organ perfusion, innovation, public engagement in science and everything scientific!

2. What brings you to Glasgow Science Festival this year?

It’s a huge honour and a privilege to have been invited to deliver the Goodall Memorial Lecture at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow on the legacy of one of my heroes: Lord Joseph Lister

3. Why should we come to your event?

Lister was a true surgical innovator and original scientific thinker. He managed to elevate and steer his craft into a respected critical scientific discipline of the highest integrity. His multi-dimensional vision has influenced various aspects of improvement in health standards from antisepsis to medical industry, pathology, clinical surgery, education and global health.

Lister’s dedication represents a direct application of science into clinical practice which has managed to infiltrate every operating theatre and hospital worldwide. His clinical laboratory was the ward, the patients were his motivation and his prepared, open, logical mind his strength. Such qualities are important now, as they were then, for advancing health standards.

150 years on from Lister’s pioneering work, we are still challenged by the age-old problems of infection and unpredictable outcomes after surgery. I will illustrate how we are attempting to make complex surgery even safer using Lister’s legacy as a model. My own specialty of transplantation will be discussed in Lister’s light with respect to 3D printing, robotics and organ perfusion technology. Can we push the boundaries of science and medicine like Lister did?

4. This year’s festival theme is ‘Glasgow Explores’. Where would you like to explore?

I would like to explore the fascinating culture that defined Glasgow as a leading city of science through the ages with giants such as Kelvin and Lister who created the path for scientific discovery that changed our thinking forever. That’s exciting! Where did they work? How did they work? What inspired them? How did they overcome obstacles?

5. What’s the best thing about being a scientist or engineer?

Being able to wake up every day and dream something new and creative that may contribute to humanity in whatever little way it can – and realising that dream through hard work, collaboration and inspiration.

My two heroes are Lister and Faraday.

Lister said ” …there is only rule in medicine… put yourself in the patients place”

Faraday said “… but still try for who knows what is possible..”

These two quotes define for me the best thing there is about being both a doctor and a scientist.

Join Pankaj at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow on 15 June. Tickets are free. For more details, visit the website.

Glasgow Science Festival: Whales, Seals & Dolphins – Oh My!

One month today, we’ll be taking over the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum with a plethora of hands-on activities. Among the scientists getting involved is dolphin communication expert Jason Bruck. He stopped for a chat with the blog…

jason

1. Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Jason Bruck and I am a dolphin communication and intelligence researcher at the University of St. Andrews, Scottish Oceans Institute.

2. What brings you to Glasgow Science Festival this year?

At the Scottish Oceans Institute, we have developed a new and exciting way for people of all ages to see how we learn about dolphin minds and how we study what these amazing animals ‘talk’ about.

3. Why should we come to your event?

For anyone interested in marine science or whales and dolphins this is the perfect opportunity to get a real sense of the methods used to understand the behaviour of these fascinating animals. You might even get the chance to produce and see real dolphin sounds using state of the art technology.

4. This year’s festival theme is ‘Glasgow Explores’. Where would you like to explore?

I love to explore the minds of non-human animals. Understanding and charting the behaviour and intelligence of our animal cousins tells us about our own evolutionary journey and might provide insight into how we got where we are.

5. What’s the best thing about being a scientist or engineer?

When a scientist analyses data (s)he is the first person in the world to know a fact. Being the first person in the world to know something is really the best part of this job, because in that way you get to be an explorer seeing an aspect of the world no one else has ever seen before.

Join Jason on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 June for Glasgow Explores @ Kelvingrove. For full details and times, visit our website.