All Year 9 pupils study the three sciences – Biology, Chemistry and Physics, and we were fortunate to obtain places for these girls at the 2018 Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition.
Despite the heat, we managed to get to the prestigious Royal Society building, near Pall Mall, early to meet scientists from universities and businesses from around the country who are undertaking pioneering research.
There were 22 exhibits, all interactive with scientists on hand to answer questions. These included: Atomic Architects – making new materials at the nanoscale; Ghosts in the Universe – examining neutrinos which are everywhere; Exploring the Universe with the Webb Telescope; Designing Malaria Vaccines; Guardians of the Gut – the trillions of resident bacteria looking after our gut health; Seeking Life on Mars; Soil – Our Buried Treasure; and Hot Stuff – radiation and cancer diagnosis.
As well, we went to a lecture – The Science of Adventure – given by TV presenter Huw James who described his scientific work studying retreating glaciers in the Arctic, and wildlife in Brazil.
The grandiose building itself was worth the visit alone, having been built in the 1660s for the Royal Society. This Society aims to promote and support excellence in science, and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity. Sir Isaac Newton was an early President, and the current 1,694 Fellows are renowned scientists who have to be nominated and then elected to become Fellows.
Royal Society Fellows continue to make outstanding contributions in many research areas. Richard Henderson FRS from the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, for example, was jointly awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for ‘developing cryoelectron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution’.
The teachers were very excited by this news: let us hope that one day the girls will be equally as impressed, with some becoming Fellows themselves!
Mrs Burridge and Mrs Kandeepan