Researchers from our BRC and Kings College London have been working with students across south London to celebrate British Science Week.

The first two visits were held slightly ahead of the week, at Bishop Thomas Grant School in Streatham.

Dr Katie Dores from the Infectious Diseases at King’s College London spoke to a group of year 13 Biology students about immunity and infection. Saima Saleem, Head of Biology had this to say about the talk

Katie’s talk was very interesting and on a topic of HIV vaccines that the students would not know about otherwise. The talk was good at allowing students to remind themselves about the details of vaccines and the HIV structure. It was great for the students to hear how scientists are applying the knowledge they are being taught in school about viruses into real world applications that will affect millions of people and the difficulties in creating a vaccine for such a sophisticated virus. “

Shortly afterwards, Dr Flavia Flaviani, a Senior Bioinformatician at our BRC, spoke to year 12 about  DNA and how genes affect health, as well as her own career journey. Flavia said

“I honestly think that public engagement is about giving back and provide others with opportunities to see a career that they might not have thought off or be expose to. There are some subjects that can feel “dry” but are actually incredibly interesting and exciting. I think that it is important to show the love we have for our work and showcase the options available. By promoting our work and engaging to the public it challenges to explain our work in a clearer language. I think this is a great learning experience and it is different every single time, and can only have a positive effect on my work.”

Next, some of our colleagues from the Centre for Medical Imaging delivered interactive workshops to 100 year 10 and 11 pupils at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Lambeth. This included their own bespoke activities, specially designed for the session around engaging students in Big Data in Healthcare and & MRI.

Finally, two more students took part in a Speed Networking event at Bishop Thomas Grant School as part of their “Careers in Science Day”.

Amiee McKeon, Head of Science said “I wanted to say a huge thank you to the visitors for the networking event – it was a big success! They were both great.”

The school visits are just one example of the patient and public engagement activities that our team can help researchers and our local communities with. You can read more about the team and their work here or contact Claire O’Neill, Public Engagement Manager.