Institute of Genetics and Cancer

Science Insights – New Insights MRC Festival of Medical Research

Over the last five years, Public Engagement staff from across the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine have coordinated Science Insights, a week-long summer work experience programme for S5 pupils: June 2019

Science Insights reunion group photo

Over five full days in July, 16 year old secondary pupils from Scottish schools take part in laboratory research taster sessions with scientists, tours of specialist research facilities, meet PhD and undergraduate students, and visit Dryden Farm. They also participate in group discussions on ethics in biomedical research, the use of animals in research, and explore the relationship between science and the media as part of a packed programme.

This programme has been running since 2014 and the number of pupils participating has increased from 16 to 40 per year. As Science Insights has grown, the catchment area has expended from Edinburgh to the whole of Scotland, and in 2018, two pupils came all the way form from the Isle of Lewis. Annually more and more researchers and students volunteer to help deliver this programme, with over 150 involved last year.

This year, for the first time, we invited previous participants, Science Insights Alumni 2014 – 2018, to return for a reunion event in June, as part of our programme of events for the MRC Festival of Medical Research 2019. They were joined by some of the researchers that have previously volunteered to partner pupils during Science Insights weeks, for an afternoon of tea, treats and talks.

It was wonderful to meet some Science Insights alumni and hear how they are getting. Many have gone on to study science nationwide. They shared stories about how this programme helped them make career choices, while scientists from the IGMM, Centre for Regenerative Medicine and the Roslin Institute shared their stories, describing how their research has progressed over the past 5 years.

Reconnecting and sharing Science Insights stories provided everyone with new insights and these will inform the ongoing development of this programme to inspire future generations.

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