Showing posts with the label scientist

Connecting scientists and the public in online dialogues about science

My Churchill Trust Travel Fellowship Report, Connecting scientists and the public in online dialogues about science has now been published . Social media offers much promise for the engagement of new global audiences. This report summarises my journey to the USA, Canada, China and Japan and includes useful observations, tips and case studies for those looking to connect the public with science via online platforms. In theory, social media has the potential to break down barriers and open channels of communication between people of every background and profession on a global scale. Online networks also have a huge potential to democratise many areas, especially academic scientific research. It can allow the public access behind previously closed doors and into restricted spaces through the use of video and images. Importantly, it offers and the opportunity for two-way conversations with global audiences no matter where the research is being conducted. I travelled to the USA, Cana

Churchill Fellowship: Toronto and the Social Media Lab

Ah, beautiful Toronto. I wasn't expecting to fall in love with this city as much as I did, but I really did. I met some fantastic people and had some great discussions about the use of social media for public engagement with science.* *disclaimer, there are lots of city skyline shots in this blog post.   I spent a good four days in Toronto exploring over the weekend and meeting with scientists and staff at the University of Toronto and speaking with the fantastic Social Media Lab at Ryerson University . I was invited to speak at the Ryerson University Social Media Lab about my Churchill Fellowship. I've included my slides and a YouTube video of my talk 'How scientists are using social media'  at the bottom of this post.  Toronto by day    Toronto by night The space they have in the Social Media Lab is great (it's based within offices once lived-in by Google). I tried out one of the 'chairs' in the image below although thankfull

What Does a Biologist Do All Day?

I'm a molecular pharmacologist, but what on earth does that mean I do at 10am on a Monday? The vast majority of my PhD in Medical Sciences has been spent in a dark room, counting. Counting breast cancer cells that have moved. YES, moved. Let's start at the beginning. I work with breast cancer cells that have been taken from a donor who had breast cancer. Cancer cells can be grown in a laboratory environment if you give them the correct nutrients and keep them at the correct temperature, a cosy 37 degrees, just like in the body. The cells I use were collected back in the 1970s and have been kept growing in the lab ever since. Cancer cells can be grown on a flat surface (or in a solution), in plastic dishes, like this: The cells grow in 'media', a solution that contains all the nutrients they need to grow. The media is usually pink as it contains phenol-red, an indicator that changes colour if the pH of the media changes (pH needs to be around 7.2-7.4 for op