MRC Human Genetics Unit
Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit

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Science Insights work experience week

It’s been another successful year for the Science Insights work experience week: August 2018

Group shot of the students
Word cloud.

Over the course of the busy week, the 16 year old school pupils from 28 Scottish schools took part in interactive sessions with scientists, toured research facilities, met students, and visited Dryden Farm. They also participated in group discussions on ethics in research, the use of animals in research, and explored the relationship between science and the media as part of a packed programme.

“The feedback we got this year is that pupils were really beginning to understand the diversity roles and research areas within science,” says IGMM Public Engagement Manager Dee Davison.

“The majority of students who attended Science Insights are interested in biomedical sciences.  What came across very strongly this year, however, was that they understood for the first time that in institutes such as the IGMM, we are increasingly recruiting people from non-biological backgrounds, such as mathematicians and statisticians. Students got to work in the more traditional ‘wet’ labs, but also in ‘dry’ labs – the computational science side of research.  I think that made a big impact.  The students were also really impressed with the passion and enthusiasm of the scientists that they met from across our college.”

The coordination of this year’s Science Insights programme was a significant logistical challenge for the organising team of Nicola Stock, Roslin Institute; Robin Morton, Centre for Regenerative Medicine, Amy Tyndall, Centre for Inflammation Research; Laura Thomas, Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences  and Dee Davison, IGMM. Two separate programmes ran concurrently over the week, involving the participation of over 150 researchers and staff, including 42 from the IGMM.

“All the researchers and staff that took part this year were great,” says Dee. “They were enthusiastic, keen and very good at communicating with the pupils.”

“I think our colleagues got a lot out of the experience as well,” she adds. “Not only did they get to hone their own communication and engagement skills but sharing their experiences with school pupils was energising and re-enthusing in terms of appreciating the value their own research.”

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Science Insights programme

Science insights work experience week photos