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Chanel Talent

Medical Imaging & Natural Sciences: Unlocking The Brain – Using Interdisciplinary Science To Tackle Unsolved Problems.

Dr Chris Brignell, Society for Natural Sciences

Date: October 21 Time: 12:30 – 13:30

Virtual Presentation Registration Link

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 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 newly formed Society for Natural Sciences, a national learned society that promotes interdisciplinary science education and research.

Suitable for: Year 12 & 13 students studying Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Maths, Earth Sciences.

Preparation or Pre-Reading: There is no preparation required although students are advised to consider the subject area in advance and think about any questions they might like to ask about Medical Imaging and/or Natural Sciences.

Channel Talent

A few months ago, before we were exposed to Sars-Cov-2, I gave a talk to a school: over an hour to get there by  train, an 20 minute walk to the school, half an hour waiting (having arrived early so as not to miss the slot),  45 minutes hour to talk to, as it turns out, a dozen students with varying interest in Natural Sciences and another two hours to get home – effectively taking most of the day. 

A few weeks ago, the Society for Natural Sciences, now well-adjusted to the pandemic, gave a live online webinar to school students studying from home.  We logged on early to meet with over 50 students from across the country, using “chat” function to engage them and were finished in just over an hour. While not all interactions can be online, and face-to-face meetings can be essential in some situations, these new developments allow us all to embrace a far greater reach through the internet – zoom out to a wider audience as it were.

To this end the Society for Natural Sciences has partnered with Channel Talent to deliver a series of outreach webinars. Channel Talent is a live and interactive video conferencing service which links universities and businesses to schools over the web. Channel Talent aims to inform and inspire young people’s choices about their education. Events are free to schools, being sponsored by individual universities or businesses.  During the current pandemic especially, where opportunities for school visits and University face to face events are limited, our partnership with Channel Talent will allow the Society for Natural Sciences to continue our outreach work to encourage the study of science across discipline boundaries. Following on from a couple of successful pilots earlier this year, we will be holding six webinars over the course of the next academic year, with webinar subjects including Astrobiology, Fusion Physics, and Carbon Nano-materials.

I’ll be delivering the first webinar on Astrobiology & Natural Sciences: Finding Life On Other Planets & Studying Natural Sciences on September 29 @ 13:00 – 14:00

Details of our all webinars can be found here:

Dr Sarah Gretton, Society for Natural Sciences External Relations and Communications Lead and Director of the University of Leicester Natural Sciences programme

Getting into PedR in STEM

Two online seminars were delivered through Advance HE Connect. These seminars were aimed at STEM academics new to research in teaching and learning to encourage dissemination of development work and new approaches. Recordings of the seminars are available on Advance HE Connect under the Society for Natural Sciences Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Group

The event was a success with 15 visitors to each of the seminars. We plan to repeat the sessions in the autumn should there be demand.

Derek Raine

Advance HE Connect Event

We are delighted to announce our first Society for Natural Sciences event with Advance HE Connect: Getting into Research in Teaching and Learning in STEM

The Society is offering two on-line seminars designed as a guide for teaching staff in STEM in HE who may not have much, if any, experience of educational research, but who have some data on an existing project or are planning some new approach. Documenting interventions in education and their consequences has always been of value, but especially so in times of rapid adaptation such as have been brought about by the global pandemic. So, if you are involved in changing the way you teach, it is useful to approach this as a research project, documenting what you do and why, and evaluating the outcomes against your initial aims.

6 July 3.00-4.00pm The first seminar will focus on formulating a viable research question including some of the ethical issues involved

9 July 3.00-4.00 pm The second seminar will involve evaluating the research and writing it up for publication.

Presenters: Professor Derek Raine & Dr Sarah Gretton (University of Leicester)

The seminars are free and there is no need to register, but it would be helpful to let us know if you are planning to attend. It is anticipated that recordings of the session will also be available through Advance HE


Details of the meetings:

1. Topic: Getting into Research in Teaching and Learning in STEM 1. Research Questions

2. Topic: Getting into Research in Teaching and Learning in STEM 2. Dissemination

Launch Event Postponed

It is with sadness that we have taken the decision to postpone the launch event of the Society for Natural Sciences planned to take place at The Francis Crick Institute in London on Tuesday 17th March. In the light of the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19 this is the only sensible course of action for the health and safety of our members and invited guests. This pandemic throws into sharp relief the importance of interdisciplinary scientific approaches to global problems. We hope to reschedule the event and look forward to working with all our members to support  interdisciplinary science and scientists now and in the future.

We will update with details as we are more clear what the national guidance is regarding the COVID-19 situation.

Annual General Meeting

The AGM for the Society for Natural Sciences has been postponed due to COVID-19. More details to follow.

A provisional agenda is provided below.

 Election of Trustees

             Financial Report

             Membership Report

             Activity Report


If you wish further items to be considered for addition to the agenda please email

The Society Launch Event

It is our pleasure to announce the launch event for the Society of Natural Sciences, on March 17th 2020 at the Francis Crick Institute in London, UK.

This event will bring together founding members and welcome supporters of the Natural Sciences. Key speakers will give an overview of their interests and work within the natural sciences, as a now rapidly expanding interdisciplinary network.

With the introduction of Natural Sciences undergraduate and postgraduate courses across the UK, the Society will provide support for educators, learners and graduates.

Date for your diary

This years annual Natural Sciences student conference will be hosted by the University of York on 6-7th April. Please add the date into your diary, and do get in touch if you have interest to attend or be kept up to speed with events as more details are firmed up.

Stunning surroundings of York University promise a great venue for our upcoming event

Banner caption: Montage of images depicting aspects of the natural world and our interactions with it.
→ More member's images are available in our gallery