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News

E-Seminar: Blended Gold Standard PBL- Issues and Achievements

The Society for Natural Sciences Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Group will be hosting monthly lunchtime online seminars throughout 2021 to support dissemination and discussion of best practice in an interdisciplinary science education. These informal webinars have an introductory presentation from a member of the network followed by question and answers/discussion. Subjects scheduled so far include: assessments, interdisciplinary project work and evaluation of student skills. The seminars take place online 13.00-14.00 on the final Thursday of each month, and are open and free to attend (for both members of the Society and non-members).

Our next seminar, Natural Sciences Learning and Teaching April e-Seminar: “Blended Gold Standard PBL- Issues and Achievements” will be delivered by Corrina Cory from the University of Exeter will take on Thursday 24th June 2021 from 13.00-14.00. Please register via this event to receive joining details for the event.

SNS PedR/SoTL group (pedr@socnatsci.org)

Natural Sciences Seminar: A Long Way From Home!

Using Interdisciplinary Science To Investigate The Long-Range Transport & Fate Of Polluting Chemicals In The Arctic

June 14 @ 13:30 – 14:30

Professor Cris Halsall, Society For Natural Sciences

There are an array of chemicals (certain pesticides, industrial chemicals etc) that are very persistent in the environment and pose a health risk to humans and wildlife.

Some of these chemicals can undergo long range environmental transport and end up in very remote regions like the Arctic.

With a focus on organofluorine ‘forever’ chemicals Professor Cris Halsall (Director of Natural Sciences at Lancaster University) will explore the interdisciplinary science used to understand this issue as well as improve global chemical-use policy.

In this event, Cris is representing the Society for Natural Sciences, a national learned society that promotes interdisciplinary science education and research.

Society for Natural Sciences Learning and Teaching e-Seminars- May event

The Society for Natural Sciences Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Group are hosting a series of monthly lunchtime online seminars in 2021 to support dissemination and discussion of best practice in an interdisciplinary science education. These informal webinars take place online 13.00-14.00 on the final Thursday of each month and start with an introductory presentation from a member of the network followed by question and answers/discussion. They are open and free to attend (for both members of the Society and non-members)-so do feel free to extend the invitation to colleagues!

Our next seminar, Natural Sciences Learning and Teaching May e-Seminar: “Youtube videos in teaching biology: the example of cell division” will be delivered by Pat Heslop-Harrison from the University of Leicester and will take on Thursday 27th May 2021 from 13.00-14.00. Please register via this event to receive joining details on the morning of the event.

SNS PedR/SoTL group (pedr@socnatsci.org)

Webinar – Advancing Forensic Capabilities Via Natural Sciences: Fingerprints, Fluids, Fish Oil And … A Gerbil?!

Dr Paul Kelly, Society For Natural Sciences

Date: May 17 Time:13:30 – 14:15

Event Categories: BiologyChemistryHE Application & Student LifeInformation TechnologyLawMathematicsPhysics

Ever wondered how to image a fingerprint that is no longer there? How to make yourself see better in the dark, or how to show what that worrying looking stain on the wall might be? Oh, and how to clamp down on any gerbils who may be planning a life of crime?!

Never fear, here we have the answers. In this talk Dr Paul Kelly will show how Natural Sciences have contributed to such cross-disciplinary research and helped shape entirely new approaches to aspects of forensic science. This includes inventing and commercialising a system capable of retrieving fingerprints from fired ammunition casings and bomb fragments.  Using these examples, we will think what the study of Natural Sciences means for student employability and careers in general.

Dr Kelly is a Reader in Inorganic Chemistry who lectures on a number of modules taken by Natural Sciences students at Loughborough University. In this event, he is representing the Society for Natural Sciences, a national learned society that promotes interdisciplinary science education and research.

Monthly Seminars

The Society for Natural Sciences Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Group will be hosting the second of our monthly lunchtime online seminars for 2021 to support dissemination and discussion of best practice in an interdisciplinary science education. These informal webinars have an introductory presentation from a member of the network followed by question and answers/discussion. Subjects scheduled so far include: assessments, interdisciplinary project work and evaluation of student skills. The seminars will take place online 13.00-14.00 on the final Thursday of each month, and will be open and free to attend (for both members of the Society and non-members).

Our next seminar, Natural Sciences Learning and Teaching April e-Seminar: “Pedagogical games in Higher Education Mathematics” will be delivered by Layal Hakim from the University of Exeter will take on Thursday 29th April 2021 from 13.00-14.00. Please register via this event to receive joining details on the morning of the event.

SNS PedR/SoTL group (pedr@socnatsci.org)

Accreditation of Natural Sciences Programmes

The Society of Natural Sciences (SNS) is seeking to recruit academic accreditors to serve on the accreditation panels conducting accreditation of Natural Sciences degree programmes.  The Accreditation Committee of the SNS is intending to recruit a pool of accreditation assessors from both within the Society and outside the Society. The role is suited to those academics who have an interest beyond their own science discipline, who wish to broaden their expertise and add to their own portfolio of expertise in programme or subject assessment.

If you are interested in learning more about this, please see here for more info and a link to the application form.

International Women’s Day

To celebrate international women’s day we are highlighting some of of members, their developing successes as budding scientists to those further in their careers.

Rhiannon Gibson

Rhiannon is the Natural Sciences School Representative at the University of Leeds and in her third year of study. Representing her course mates and making positive changes to improve everyone’s academic experience is one of the most rewarding aspects of the role. Her key areas are Chemistry and Biochemistry which she greatly enjoyed utilising during her industrial placement with AstraZeneca in an analytical chemistry role.

Lacrosse is a big part of Rhiannon’s normal university life and helps provide a good balance to her studies. More recently, she has tried to regain this by taking up rollerblading – a work in progress!

Looking to the future, Rhiannon is keen to pursue a career in science and is actively finding industries whose work inspire her to aim high and push herself to achieve the best of her abilities as she goes into her final year of university.

Rhiannon wishes the best of luck to all women looking to start their further education in science and couldn’t recommend a degree like Natural Sciences more!

Dr Katherine Selby

I have a truly interdisciplinary background with ‘A’ levels in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry, a first class undergraduate degree in Geography with Environmental Studies, a PhD in Physical Geography, post-doctoral experience in Environmental Archaeology and two years working within industry as an Environmental Scientist. I then moved back into academia as an Open University Lecturer in Earth Sciences, a senior lecturer in Physical Geography at Bournemouth University, a joint appointment between Geography and Civil Engineering at the University of Southampton before moving to York where I am a senior lecturer in the Department of Environment and Geography. I have held, and presently hold, numerous senior management roles at York and have been awarded the Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Authority in recognition for my contribution to learning and teaching. 

I am passionate about Natural Sciences. The students are extremely committed and talented, and the staff who contribute exceptionally enthusiastic. Higher education is dynamic and rapidly evolving and it is vital that learning and teaching is constantly reviewed to keep it current. Interdisciplinary teaching enables students to work across traditional disciplinary boundaries and equip them with the skills and knowledge to solve global issues. 

My advice would be to find what ignites your passion. Be prepared to work hard to fulfil your potential and attain your goals. Enjoy the opportunities presented to you and appreciate the contribution of others to your ongoing, and evolving, learning journey.

Pooja Goddard

Pooja is a Senior Lecturer in Chemistry at Loughborough University, being an EDI champion and keen to promote interdisciplinary science activities, her research research focusses on computational studies of fundamental processes in complex materials at the atomic/quantum scale. 

Dr Pooja Goddard, Senior Lecturer in Chemistry.

Favorite area of science: Computational Materials Science

Current Projects: Li ion Batteries, Thin Film Solar Cells and Nuclear Materials

Proudest Achievement: Being a woman of colour in science academia (there is not many of us) 😊

Biggest Inspiration: The film “Hidden Figures” about 4 black female scientist who worked for NASA during the Apollo Mission.

Dr Tharin Blumenschein

Associate Professor in the School of Chemistry and Head of the School of Natural Sciences at the University of East of Anglia. She uses nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to study protein structure, flexibility and interactions.

Learning and Teaching March e-Seminar

The Society for Natural Sciences Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Group will be hosting the second of our monthly lunchtime online seminars for 2021 to support dissemination and discussion of best practice in an interdisciplinary science education. These informal webinars have an introductory presentation from a member of the network followed by question and answers/discussion. Subjects scheduled so far include: assessments, interdisciplinary project work and evaluation of student skills. The seminars will take place online 13.00-14.00 on the final Thursday of each month, and will be open and free to attend (for both members of the Society and non-members).

Our next seminar, Natural Sciences Learning and Teaching March e-Seminar: “A synoptic approach to learning – Integrating different disciplines, research and teaching, employability skills and sustainable development” by Chris Brignell from the University of Nottingham will take on Thursday 25th March 2021 from 13.00-14.00. Please register via this event to receive joining details.

SNS PedR/SoTL group (pedr@socnatsci.org)

Seminar – A Trip Through a Carbon NanoZoo … And How The Natural Sciences Could Save Us

With Dr Ilija Rašović – Society for Natural Sciences

March 11th – 14:00 – 15:00

In this taster lecture, we’ll take a look at the fascinating world of carbon nanomaterials and investigate their roles in potential solutions to some of the most pressing technological questions humanity faces.

How can we wean ourselves off dependency on fossil fuels? How can we diagnose and treat diseases that still cause suffering to millions?

The most complex questions require a fresh perspective, and in this interactive session we’ll explore just how that’s possible through study of the Natural Sciences.

Click here for more details and to register for the event.

Banner caption: False colour electron microscope image of collagen fibres within a hydrogel.