2nd May 18
The aim of yesterday’s event, chaired by Professor Charles Pasternak, the President of the Oxford International Biomedical Centre, was to engage pupils with different aspects of science relating to genetic modification.
Attended by Year 9 and 10 students, the initiative is part of a week of activities to celebrate Science Week at Dunottar.
Alexandre Leary (Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College, London) delivered a talk to his rapt audience about the genetic modification of plants. He was followed by Sophie Gilbert (also from Imperial College’s Department of Life Sciences), who spoke to the aspiring scientists about the genetic modification of animals, including humans.
The pupils took part in lively break-out discussions, after which representatives from each group grilled the speakers in question and answer sessions.
Lily, who attended the event, commented: “I never knew that scientists have cut out the genes from a jellyfish and transferred them into worms to make them glow in the dark. It’s amazing!”
Hannah Davison, second in charge of science, said: “I'm so pleased that the students have challenged their own opinions on genetic modification with these exciting talks. The opportunity to ask questions also helped pupils to expand their thinking as well as consider possible future careers in the sciences.
“It was a brilliant symposium,” she added, “and many thanks to our visitors for very generously giving up their time.”