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.
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.