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Who wants to be a scientist? Maybe we all should

User Avatar Blogger . 09/09/2010 11:01:35
British Science Festival blog
By Claire Hopkins, Events Officer (British Science Festival), University Communications     

Earlier this year Radio Four launched a competition inviting non-scientists to submit their ideas for piece of scientific research, offering the winners the chance to turn these ideas into real life experiments.

Over 1,300 people applied online before the closing date, which suggests that the answer to Radio Four’s initial question, ‘Who wants to be a scientist?’ is, in fact, lots of people.

Although scientific qualifications or a career in science were not prerequisites for entry, rather the opposite (people currently working in science, or studying science at university level were not eligible to enter), all of those entrants must have had a curiosity about the world around them, a desire to understand how and why things are the way they are.

As someone who didn’t study science beyond school, in an effort to branch out of my comfort zone and get into science I’m sticking with Radio Four and their amateur scientists. I’ve been checking out the updates on Facebook and have just completed the questionnaire posted by 17 year old finalist Nina Jones for her social science experiment. I also helped her fellow finalist Ruth, a retired special needs teacher, to collect data for her snail experiment by taking a bottle of baby pink nail polish to the snails in my own garden and reporting the results online. The winner of the competition will be announced at the British Science Festival next week.

British Science Festival is one of Europe’s largest science festivals and is being hosted by Aston University. The aim of the Festival is to bring science closer to you, whether you’re a professional scientist an interested amateur or a complete novice. The Festival illustrates how science can be engaging, insightful and applicable to everyone’s everyday lives. The programme of events offers something for everyone with activity for families and schools groups, adults looking for entertainment and stimulating debate or professionals interested in the latest research.

Over 350 of the UK’s top scientists, engineers and commentators will be in Birmingham to discuss the latest developments in science and technology with the public from Tuesday 14th September 14th to Sunday 19th September. If you’re interested in getting more into science then it’s the perfect place to start.

The event showcases a number of events involving Aston University academics such as 'The Bioenergy Solution for Birmingham 2026 by Prof Andreas Hornung as well as 'Grime Scene Investigation: At home with the microbes' by Dr Anthony Hilton. For more information about events involving Aston University academics browse the events directory.

To find out more about the British Science Festival or to book a ticket visit www.britishsciencefestival.org

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