Engaging young people with science: a science capital approach

For our last Policy Lunchbox, we were joined by Professor Louise Archer, the Karl Mannheim Professor of Sociology of Education at the UCL Institute of Education.

Louise’s talk focused on the Aspires2 longitudinal study and the Enterprising Science research and development project. Both projects seek to understand what shapes aspirations, engagement and participation in young people.
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#iamabiologist: using twitter to bring those working in the biosciences together

#iamabiologist studying the movement ecology of wild grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) using telemetry devices. This forms part of my doctoral work investigating the impacts of marine renewable energy developments on grey seal movement and behaviour in tidal environments.

I was extremely excited to get involved with the #iamabiologist Biology Week Twitter campaign. I think it is fantastic that the Royal Society of Biology are able to facilitate the dissemination of academic research into the public domain, and through such a casual and easily accessible platform like Twitter.
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Novel diagnostics – a key player in the fight against antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobial resistance has been identified as one of the greatest threats to public health, with the potential to disrupt routine medical procedures and diminish our ability to treat infectious disease.

Today, non-communicable diseases such as dementia and heart disease are generally the leading cause of death in more economically developed countries.
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Genome editing: where do we draw the line?

Genome editing is at the forefront of modern medicine, and has the potential to improve the health of millions of people worldwide; genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis and Huntington’s could in theory become a thing of the past.

The genome is the complete set of an organism’s DNA, containing all of the information that cells need to be able to build and maintain the living organism. The genome is the blueprint for our characteristics – genes that code for eye and hair colour and our other features are located in the genome.
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Bringing pantomime into the biology lecture theatre

Dr. Ian Turner, our 2017  HE Bioscience Teacher of the Year, is a National Teaching Fellow based at the University of Derby.  He is currently Head of Forensic Science but his main teaching areas are genetics and science communication.

Nominations for the 2018 HE Bioscience Teacher of the Year award are now open.

PROLOGUE

Pantomime as an entertainment and art form originates in Greece and came to fashion in the ancient theatres of Rome during the reign of Emperor Augustus.  Pantomime has been part of English entertainment since the 18th century Harliquinade and the traditional fairy tale pantomimes of the 19th Century.
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Policy Lunchbox: unlocking teaching development

At the last Policy Lunchbox we welcomed David Weston, Chief Executive of the Teacher Development Trust, to explore professional development in teaching and how we can better support teachers.

Professional development is key for teachers to carry out their role. Good quality and continuous professional development can help support and develop great teachers and current research suggests that a high quality supportive teacher environment can improve pupil achievement over time.

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Years of surprises from flying ants

By Dr Rebecca Nesbit and Professor Adam Hart who ran the Royal Society of Biology’s Flying Ant Survey.

Five years ago, we embarked on the Flying Ant Survey to ask what we thought was a simple question: when does ‘flying ant day’ occur each year? The data, which has just been published in the journal Ecography, tells a far more complex story than we could have imagined. Read more »

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The biology behind a fire-breathing dragon

Following the conclusion of the latest series of Game of Thrones, many of us at RSB have been excited by the fire breathing capabilities of the three dragons, daughters of one of the show’s protagonists, Daenerys Targaryen.

A number of theories have been developed by fans of the show to explain how these creatures might be able to produce and discharge plumes of fire from their mouths, the most popular of which claims that two tubes at the back of the dragons’ throats expel two volatile substances which, when combined, produce a vigorous exothermic reaction.
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Reversing the decline of the orangutan population

This month we celebrated International Organ-utan day. Organised by World Orang-utan Events, the day looks to promote orang-utan conservation and welfare, as well as inter organization cooperation.

There are two species of orang-utan, the Bornean orang-utan, Pongo pygmaeus and the Sumatran orang-utan, Pongo abelii. Both species are critically endangered, their numbers having decreased by 60% in 60 years.
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