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News

Widening Participation across the Sciences

Our November Society for Natural Sciences Learning and Teaching e-Seminar: “Widening Participation across the Sciences- Lessons learned from 7 years running a STEM foundation course” will be delivered by will be delivered by Harmony Lansdown (University of Leicester) and will take place on Thursday 24th November 2022 from 12.00-12.50. Please register via this event link to receive joining details prior to the event.

The Society for Natural Sciences Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Group host a series of monthly lunchtime online seminars to support dissemination and discussion of best practice in an interdisciplinary science education. These informal webinars take place online from 12.00-12.50 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 this invitation to colleagues!

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

The Society for Natural Sciences announces further accreditation of UK degree programmes

THE SOCIETY FOR NATURAL SCIENCES is delighted to welcome two further programmes to the list of accredited courses. These are the University of Leicester and the University of Lancaster. The Society accreditation programme is designed to validate the rigorous and integrated nature of degrees in Natural Sciences to ensure that programmes offer students the development of a set of attributes and skills in core science subjects at levels comparable to single discipline degrees.  

The FULL LIST of ACCREDITED PROGRAMMES IS:

University of Bath

University of Birmingham

University of Exeter

Keele University

University of Lancaster

University of Leeds

University of Leicester

Loughborough University

University of Nottingham

The Open University

UCL

University of York

e-Seminar: Widening Participation across the Sciences

Our November Society for Natural Sciences Learning and Teaching e-Seminar: “Widening Participation across the Sciences- Lessons learned from 7 years running a STEM foundation course” will be delivered by will be delivered by Harmony Lansdown (University of Leicester) and will take place on Thursday 24th November 2022 from 12.00-12.50. Please register via this event link to receive joining details prior to the event.

The Society for Natural Sciences Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Group host a series of monthly lunchtime online seminars to support dissemination and discussion of best practice in an interdisciplinary science education. These informal webinars take place online from 12.00-12.50 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 this invitation to colleagues!

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

e-Seminar: Disciplinary literacies in STEM

Our October Society for Natural Sciences Learning and Teaching e-Seminar: “Disciplinary literacies in STEM: What do undergraduates read, how do they read it, and can we teach scientific reading more effectively?” will be delivered by will be delivered by Katharine Hubbard (University of Hull) and will take place on Thursday 27th  October 2022 from 12.00-12.50. Please register via this event link to receive joining details prior to the event.

The Society for Natural Sciences Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Group host a series of monthly lunchtime online seminars to support dissemination and discussion of best practice in an interdisciplinary science education. These informal webinars take place online from 12.00-12.50 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 this invitation to colleagues!

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

Summer Placement @Lboro

Dr Paul Roach in Loughborough University’s School of Science hosted visitors from St. John’s College Cardiff to get hands on experience of practical laboratory work over a range of discipline areas. These included culturing living cells in the StemLab biolabs, making micro-devices in a clean room facility, using a scanning electron microscope and understanding how chromatography is used for a whole host of analytical methods. The students fed back from their experience that they learned a lot and were able to explore areas of science that they have never thought about.

During July, I undertook a work experience with Dr Roach at Loughborough University which was an incredible experience. It really brought my passion for science alive and I was able to experience chemistry and biology in a practical setting. My most memorable moment was probably gas chromatography which interested me by how many uses it had and the explanations by the members of staff were brilliant. I was able to use this experience to strengthen my application for medicine and it motivated me to continue along this career path.

Matthew Logan

We went to Loughborough University to undertake work in the laboratories there with Dr. Roach for work experience, during which we experienced quite a lot of amazing things that combined chemistry, physics and biology together. My favourite part was looking at electron microscopy, as I could look into any part I wanted to observe and the appearance was so magical that it let me realize that a very, very small corner on the earth could have such a wonderful world inside. Besides this we also done many fantastic things such as cell cultures, fluorescent imaging and analysis Chemistry which greatly broadened my horizons. As an overseas student, I haven’t done any formal practical work before the AS level, so this trip was quite challenging for me, but it really taught me a lot of useful skills and developed my interest in natural science. Really want to thank Dr. Roach as he was so kind and knowledgeable that he arranged our rewarding trip perfectly and helped us so much along the way.

Thank you very much for this amazing trip!

Estella Shi

The students got to grips with the micro world, using a scanning electron microscope to see the surfaces of materials at this very small scale.

It was quite a long week with lots to see and do, but everyone left smiling and making plans for a return next year. St. John’s College Cardiff students are welcome anytime – and their teachers are pretty fun too.

Paul Roach

Science Council Climate Conference

News Article

On 29th September the Science Council held its first ever policy conference titled The Science Council Climate Conference – The UK Pathway to Net-Zero. The event brought together Science Council members and other organisations from across the science and engineering community to discuss how the UK can meet its targets for reducing emissions and reaching net-zero in the coming years.

The conference drew on the diverse expertise of Science Council member organisations, exploring in depth topics such as the challenges and opportunities in the food system, achieving net-zero in the steel industry and the role of hydrogen in balancing future supply and demand.

Speaking at the conference, Sir Patrick Vallance, Government Chief Scientific Adviser and National Technology Adviser, said:

“Every year, we’re losing Arctic sea ice and CO2 levels have dramatically increased since the industrial revolution. There are clearly unarguable changes that are occurring. Science and technology are undoubtedly central to what we need to do. We need to be focused on technologies that we can already see, technologies that we have already invented, and ask how do we work out which of those we can implement and scale.”

The Science Council’s President, Professor Carole Mundell, closed the day by summarising six themes that became evident to her throughout the discussions. These were science, scale, society, supply chains, systems and solutions. Professor Mundell also thanked all of the societies, partners, speakers and participants for their part in making the day so inspiring, insightful and motivating.

The Science Council looks forward to building on the connections and conversations from the conference and will continue its convening role within and beyond its membership.

To find out more about future events held by the Science Council and its professional body Members see their website: https://sciencecouncil.org/category/event/

Videos of the livestreamed sessions can be found here:

Plenary Panel 1 – The UK’s Net-Zero Challenge: https://youtu.be/cCLGOmlQS-I

Keynote Address by Sir Patrick Vallance: https://youtu.be/CZx9jnQcmQ8

Plenary Panel 2 – The role of the UK science and engineering community: https://youtu.be/XJaIbQ7QVME

The full programme of the conference is available here:

https://sciencecouncil.org/web/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Climate-Conference-September-2022.pdf

Contact: Ruth Herbert, Marketing and Communications Officer r.herbert@sciencecouncil.org or marketing@sciencecouncil.org

SNS Channel Talent

Natural Sciences: Unlocking The Brain – Applications of Medical Imaging With Dr Chris Brignell, Society For Natural Sciences

November 23 @ 13:00 – 13:45

There are many unsolved scientific problems, such as how to cure cancer or how to stop climate change. Finding the answers will require scientists of all disciplines (biologists, chemists, physicists, psychologists, mathematicians,…) working together.

In this talk we will examine what each branch of science can contribute.  We’ll look at how advances in medical imaging are dependent on interdisciplinary science, and how we have used them to improve human health and scientific understanding.  Finally, we’ll discuss opportunities to study multiple science subjects at university.

Dr Chris Brignell is Associate Director of Natural Sciences and Associate Professor of Statistics in the School of Mathematical Sciences, Faculty of Science, at University of Nottingham. In this session, Chris represents the Society for Natural Sciences, a national learned society that promotes interdisciplinary science education and research.A-level, BTEC, T-level and IB links to: Physics (magnetic fields), Chemistry (atomic structure) and Biology (respiration). Follow-up resources linking this webinar to A-level, BTEC, T-level and IB curricula will be made available after this session via the Society for Natural Sciences website.

Lecturer Biography (Please Click): Dr Chris Brignell

For more details please click here.

SNS Channel Talent

Natural Sciences: Far From Home – The Interdisciplinary Science Of Chemical Pollution With Professor Crispin Halsall, Society For Natural Sciences

November 17 @ 12:30 – 13:15

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

Lecturer Profile (Please Click): Professor Crispin Halsall

A-level, BTEC, T-level and IB links to: Chemistry (free radicals), Biology (pollution). Follow-up resources linking this webinar to A-level, BTEC, T-level and IB curricula will be made available after this session via the Society for Natural Sciences website.

For more details please click here.

SNS Channel Talent

Astrobiology & Natural Sciences: Finding Life On Other Planets – Tutorial With Dr Sarah Gretton, Society For Natural Sciences

October 19 @ 16:15 – 17:00

In this live interactive Astrobiology/Natural Sciences tutorial, we will be joined by Dr Sarah Gretton, Associate Professor, Natural Sciences (Life and Physical Sciences) Programme Director and Admissions Tutor at the University of Leicester. In this session, Sarah represents the Society for Natural Sciences, a national learned society that promotes interdisciplinary science education and research.

This live tutorial will follow an introductory lecture on the Drake Equation (available below), which is used to estimate the number of communicative extra-terrestrials in our galaxy. In the tutorial students will consider each of the terms of the equation evaluating astronomical, biological, and psychological/sociological factors to arrive at the probability of the number of active technically advanced civilizations in the Milky Way Galaxy.

A-level, BTEC, T-level and IB links to: Physics (gravity, particles), Biology (proteins, nucleic acids), Chemistry (redox reactions, electronegativity)

For more details please click here.

E-seminar – Disciplinary literacies in STEM

Our October Society for Natural Sciences Learning and Teaching e-Seminar: “Disciplinary literacies in STEM: What do undergraduates read, how do they read it, and can we teach scientific reading more effectively?” will be delivered by will be delivered by Katharine Hubbard (University of Hull) and will take place on Thursday 27th  October 2022 from 12.00-12.50. Please register via this event link to receive joining details prior to the event.

The Society for Natural Sciences Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Group host a series of monthly lunchtime online seminars to support dissemination and discussion of best practice in an interdisciplinary science education. These informal webinars take place online from 12.00-12.50 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 this invitation to colleagues!

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

Banner caption: Electron microscope image of collagen fibres within a hydrogel.