10:00 Registration

Seminar 8

AM Sessions

Tsuzuki & Ogilvie Lecture Theatres

10:30 (Tsuzuki) and 10.45 (Ogilvie)

Welcome Session

Michael Hofmann & Co.

Welcome session, with introductions from our Chief Editor Michael Hofmann, co-founders and sponsors.

About YSJournal

Young Scientists Journal is the world’s peer review science journal written, edited and produced exclusively by 12-20 year olds. The journal publishes research papers and review articles on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) both online and in print. 19 issues have been published since it was founded in 2006 at The King’s School Canterbury by Christina Astin and Ghazwan Butrous.

11.00 and 15.00 in Tsuzuki

Looking inside the blind brain

Kate Watkins

I will talk about how psychologists and neuroscientists understand what different brain areas do from studying patients who have brain damage and from using brain scanners to see what parts of the brain “light” up when someone is performing a task.  I use MRI scans to look at the brains of people who are blind.  In sighted people, huge amounts of brain are devoted to processing visual information.  What happens to these brain areas when there is no visual information to process?  Do they contribute to processing information from the other senses, such as hearing?  Is it true that people who are blind have superior abilities in the other senses and does this relate to their brain reorganisation?  After my presentation there will be a Q & A with one of my research volunteers who has been blind since birth.

About Kate Watkins

I left my school in the Welsh valleys with three science A levels and a love of human biology.  I studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, where I discovered Experimental Psychology.  My first experiment examined musical ability in children with dyslexia.  After I graduated, I had the exciting opportunity to work with patients at Great Ormond Street Hospital who had amnesia due to brain damage.  For my PhD, I studied a large family with a rare genetic mutation that affected their ability to learn to speak and use language.  I used MRI brain scans to find out which parts of their brains were different due to this disorder.  I then went to work at the Montreal Neurological Institute in Canada, where I learnt to stimulate people’s brains.  In Oxford, I teach Psychology and do research on the brain and language.  I work with children and adults with speech problems, like stammering, and with adults who have had a stroke.  I also stimulate people’s brains to understand what different brain areas do and how we can improve brain function.  I love birds and other animals and would like to understand the links between birdsong and speaking.

11:15 and 14:00 in Mary Ogilvie

The Universe Through a Million Eyes

Chris Lintott

Scientists are drowning in data. Whether it’s images of millions of galaxies or videos of the Serengeti, we can now access more information than ever before. Yet making the most of that data is hard – so the Zooniverse ask volunteers from all over the world to help by classifying animals, discovering planets and more. Zooniverse PI Chris Lintott will explain how you can get involved in real science, and help make the next set of surprising discoveries.

About Chris Lintott

Chris Lintott is a professor of astrophysics at the University of Oxford, where he is also a research fellow at New College. As Principal Investigator of the Zooniverse, he leads a team who run the world’s most successful citizen science projects, allowing more than a million people to discover plangets, transcribe ancient papyri or explore the Serengeti. He is best known as co-presenter of the BBC’s long running Sky at Night program and the author, with Queen guitarist Brian May and Sir Patrick Moore of two books, both available in more than 13 languages including American. When not working, he supports Torquay United and the Chicago Fire, loves opera and cooks a mean gumbo.

12:00 Lunch

Lunch, networking, tweet-up, a chance to visit the student presentations in Seminar Rm 9 and the Exhibition in the Foyer

13:00-14:00

Research in Schools Session (Tsuzuki & Ogilivie)

13.00 in Tsuzuki repeated 13.30 in Ogilvie (Part of Student Research session)

Student Poster Presentations

Curated by Cormac Larkin

Delegates have been invited to bring posters showing some science research they have done. These are displayed in the Seminar Room 9 all day. Each student will present their project to the conference in either the Tsuzuki or Ogilvie Lecture Theatre during the “Research in Schools” session from 13.00-14.00.  Prizes will be awarded to two winners (generously donated by the Butrous Foundation) and certificates to all.

13.00 in Tsuzuki repeated 13.30 in Ogilvie (Part of Student Research session)

Call yourself a research scientist? An introduction to IRIS

Becky Parker

The Institute for Research in Schools runs research projects where you can contribute at the cutting edge of research – observing supernovas with Gaia, finding a baby boson with Higgs Hunters, using state of the art technology in DNA diversity, measuring atmospheres on Earth and on Mars, optimising blade design for wind turbines, producing evidence for dark matter, finding the magnetic monopole! Come and find out how you can get involved and make a real contribution.

About Becky Parker

After a physics degree and research at the University of Chicago, Becky taught in a variety of schools and was Senior Lecturer in physics at the University of Kent. She is now Director of the Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS).  She was voted by her school as the teacher most likely to spontaneously combust!

13.00 in Tsuzuki repeated 13.30 in Ogilvie

 Student research: why and how?

Sai Kotecha

Based on previous experience of carrying out research projects through my time at school, I will suggest how to carry out a research project, the next steps to take once it’s complete, and the impact they can have on both on academics and skills outside of the classroom. Come along if you’re interested in research, and find out more about how you can get involved and what it means to conduct a student research project.

About Sai Kotecha

Sai is an A-level student looking to embark upon a career in medicine after school. He has experience in the field of medical research, carrying out projects at Warwick University as part of his Nuffield Research placement as well as winning the national award of ‘Best Research Project’ at the TeenTech 2016 finals and will be competing in the finals of the 2017 Big Bang science fair in March. Outside of school he is a keen public speaker and plays badminton in his spare time.

14:00-15:00

14.00 in Tsuzuki

My adventures in science and literature

Sunetra Gupta

I will be talking about the connections between science and literature using illustrations from my own experiences as an evolutionary biologist specialising in infectious disease systems and a novelist.  What links these activities and what makes them different from each other?  Are they both just about telling stories?  What kinds of stories?  Is it really possible to do both rather than devote yourself to either just science or just art?

About Sunetra Gupta

I was born in Calcutta in 1965 but spent much of my early childhood in various African countries and the UK.  We returned to Calcutta when I was eleven and it was there that I began to write fiction and also became fascinated with science.  I did my undergraduate degree at Princeton University in the USA and decided I would like to try and have a career in applying mathematics to biological problems.  I came to London to do my PhD at Imperial College on mathematical models of infectious disease systems and afterwards moved to Oxford on a fellowship from the Wellcome Trust.  I was appointed to my current position in 1999.  I have two daughters aged 17 and 20 and a 12 year old cat.  When I am not working or reading, I like to cook and garden.

14:00 in Mary Ogilvie

The Universe Through a Million Eyes

Chris Lintott

Scientists are drowning in data. Whether it’s images of millions of galaxies or videos of the Serengeti, we can now access more information than ever before. Yet making the most of that data is hard – so the Zooniverse ask volunteers from all over the world to help by classifying animals, discovering planets and more. Zooniverse PI Chris Lintott will explain how you can get involved in real science, and help make the next set of surprising discoveries.

About Chris Lintott

Chris Lintott is a professor of astrophysics at the University of Oxford, where he is also a research fellow at New College. As Principal Investigator of the Zooniverse, he leads a team who run the world’s most successful citizen science projects, allowing more than a million people to discover plangets, transcribe ancient papyri or explore the Serengeti. He is best known as co-presenter of the BBC’s long running Sky at Night program and the author, with Queen guitarist Brian May and Sir Patrick Moore of two books, both available in more than 13 languages including American. When not working, he supports Torquay United and the Chicago Fire, loves opera and cooks a mean gumbo.

14.00 in Seminar Room 8

How do you know if a claim is true?

Hamish Chalmers

We encounter claims all the time. These can be from friends in playground, posts on Facebook, TV adverts, newspaper articles, or even things that our teachers say. Sometimes these claims are trivial – “My trainers make me run faster”, and sometimes they can have important consequences – “More grammar schools will help more children achieve more highly”. It doesn’t matter who makes the claim or what the claim is, what matters is whether there is evidence to back it up. This workshop will introduce you to some of the ways we can judge if a claim is trustworthy and will tell you how to publicly ask for evidence when you see a claim that you think might be dodgy.

About Hamish Chalmers

Hamish Chalmers is a primary school teacher, educational researcher and drummer. He is also an Ask For Evidence Ambassador for the charity Sense About Science. He is passionate about encouraging people to think critically about the claims that they encounter on a day to day basis, whether those claims are big or small.

 

Max joined Sense about Science in March 2013. He has a Masters of Research degree at the London Consortium, a cross-disciplinary group of museums, galleries and academic institutions designed to bridge the gap between public and academic discussion. His dissertation explored the relationship between scientific progress and the public perception of science, and it is this that got him interested in the great work that Sense about Science does. Previously to that, Max worked in an advertising agency (mainly selling beer), and he also has an undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of Oxford.  

15:00 - 16:00

15.00 in Tsuzuki

Looking inside the blind brain

Kate Watkins

I will talk about how psychologists and neuroscientists understand what different brain areas do from studying patients who have brain damage and from using brain scanners to see what parts of the brain “light” up when someone is performing a task.  I use MRI scans to look at the brains of people who are blind.  In sighted people, huge amounts of brain are devoted to processing visual information.  What happens to these brain areas when there is no visual information to process?  Do they contribute to processing information from the other senses, such as hearing?  Is it true that people who are blind have superior abilities in the other senses and does this relate to their brain reorganisation?  After my presentation there will be a Q & A with one of my research volunteers who has been blind since birth.

About Kate Watkins

I left my school in the Welsh valleys with three science A levels and a love of human biology.  I studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, where I discovered Experimental Psychology.  My first experiment examined musical ability in children with dyslexia.  After I graduated, I had the exciting opportunity to work with patients at Great Ormond Street Hospital who had amnesia due to brain damage.  For my PhD, I studied a large family with a rare genetic mutation that affected their ability to learn to speak and use language.  I used MRI brain scans to find out which parts of their brains were different due to this disorder.  I then went to work at the Montreal Neurological Institute in Canada, where I learnt to stimulate people’s brains.  In Oxford, I teach Psychology and do research on the brain and language.  I work with children and adults with speech problems, like stammering, and with adults who have had a stroke.  I also stimulate people’s brains to understand what different brain areas do and how we can improve brain function.  I love birds and other animals and would like to understand the links between birdsong and speaking.

15.00 in Seminar Room 8

The volcano crisis

David Pyle

How well could you manage a volcanic crisis? In this role-playing exercise, you will work in small teams to manage an unexpected bout of unrest at a volcano that has just come back to life. Each team represents their local community, and you will have little more to go on than an initial briefing on ‘how volcanoes work’, and your instincts. Can your community survive six turbulent years; and what will your winning strategy be?

About David Pyle

I saw my first volcano in Chile when I was 7, and have never looked back. My work has taken me to fifty volcanoes across five continents, where I have had numerous flat tyres, been robbed at gunpoint (twice) and clung-on through bumpy landings in small planes.  In the UK, I have been a lecturer (Cambridge), and am now a professor (Oxford). I have talked about volcanoes everywhere from the ITV breakfast show to schools (reception to Year 13), pubs and festivals. In Spring 2017, I am curating a public exhibition in Oxford (yes, on Volcanoes): do come and see it!

15.00 in Seminar Room 8

A Look Under the Bonnet of Wikipedia

Martin Poulter

How much does Wikipedia know about scientists, and can you trust it? We will look behind the scenes of how Wikipedia articles are created, improved, and… not improved. In the process, we will share some power-user tips for finding articles and spotting hoaxes. Your enhanced wiki-fu will be tested with a scientist hunt: can you identify women scientists in a race against time, or are the cues too cruelly cryptic?

 

Please bring a laptop computer if possible.

About Martin Poulter

Dr Martin Poulter helps people share knowledge with the world. His past job titles include Wikimedia Ambassador, Wikimedian In Residence and New Media Manager. He is a lead trainer for the charity Wikimedia UK and the driving force behind a comedy music act.

15:00 Science Beyond School (Ogilvie)

15:00 in Ogilvie

Applying to university for science subjects

Jon McMaster

Are you thinking about studying science at university? Come along to this session to learn more about science degrees at university, the UCAS application process and to hear about what an Admissions Tutor might be looking for in a UCAS application.

About Jon McMaster

Dr Jon McMaster is an Associate Professor and Admissions Tutor in Chemistry at the University of Nottingham. He gained a BA in Chemistry from St. Anne’s College, Oxford in 1992 and completed his PhD at the University of Manchester. Outside of the lab he’s an enthusiastic long-distance walker.

15:00 in Ogilvie

My life as a STEM entrepreneur

George Edwards

Whilst at school I started my business, to fundamentally disrupt the way consumers and industry use LPG. Since leaving, my technology has been patented in over 50 countries. We have commercialised the technology into a range of products which are all manufactured in the UK and have been sold in 34 countries. I have been supported by Sir Richard Branson and numerous other business leaders. The last two years have been hugely satisfying and I look forward to sharing those experiences with you to show some of what is possible after you leave school.

About George Edwards

Whilst at school I started my business, to fundamentally disrupt the way consumers and industry use LPG. Since leaving, my technology has been patented in over 50 countries. We have commercialised the technology into a range of products which are all manufactured in the UK and have been sold in 34 countries. I have been supported by Sir Richard Branson and numerous other business leaders. The last two years have been hugely satisfying and I look forward to sharing those experiences with you to show some of what is possible after you leave school.

16:00 Tea

Tea, last chance to visit the student presentations in Seminar Rm 9 and the Exhibition in the Foyer

16:30 - 17:30

16:30 Quick Turnaround (Ogilvie)

16:30 in Ogilvie

Smashing Physics: news from the energy frontier

Jon Butterworth

I will talk about what we have learned from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, including the discovery of the Higgs boson and latest exciting developments.

About Jon Butterworth

Jon Butterworth is professor of physics at UCL and a member of the ATLAS collaboration at CERN. He was awarded the Chadwick medal of the Institute of Physics in 2013 for his work in particle physics. He writes the “Life & Physics” blog for the Guardian and his book “Smashing Physics” was shortlisted for the Royal Society Winton Science book prize in 2015.

16.30 in Ogilvie

How to spot a dud scientific paper

Lawrence McGinty

Every day, hundreds, if not thousands of scientific papers are published. They are the language of science – the way that scientists  talk to each other. But a few are fraudulent and many more are probably not worth publishing. Should we be looking for new ways of structuring the scientific conversation?

About Lawrence McGinty

How many television reporters have

+ flown a Harrier jump jet

+ signed off “from the North Pole”

+ appeared at the London Palladium in black tie driving a Sinclair C5

+ stroked a polar bear

For four decades Lawrence has reported every major development in science and health for ITN and has won numerous awards.  Lawrence is currently Chair of the Medical Journalists Association, and serves on the BBSRC Bioscience for Society Strategy Panel and the Advisory Board of the Science Media Centre.  He also provides media training for a variety of organisations.

16.30 in Seminar Room 7

People-Powered Research

Workshop

The Zooniverse is the world’s largest and most popular citizen science platform. Find out how they are getting everyone in the world involved in cutting edge research from astronomy to zoology and everything inbetween, and how you can build your own citizen science project in just minutes!

About Grant Miller

Grant is a recovering astronomer who used to search for planets way beyond our solar system, and now works for the Zooniverse citizen science group at the University of Oxford.

 

16.30 in Seminar Room 8

Understanding scientific publishing

Workshop

Scientific publishing began more than 350 years ago, in 1665, with the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. “Phil Trans” is still published today, but the process leading to a published paper has evolved over this time. Publishing a paper is now faster, more accessible and open to more people than ever. Find out how publishing works and how YOU can get involved.

About Royal Society Publishing

The Society’s fundamental purpose, reflected in its founding Charters of the 1660s, is to recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.

The Society has played a part in some of the most fundamental, significant, and life-changing discoveries in scientific history and Royal Society scientists continue to make outstanding contributions to science in many research areas.

16:30 Big Engineering (Tsuzuki)

16:30 in Tsuzuki

Suck Squeeze Bang Blow: An introduction to Gas Turbine Technology

Mike Percival

In the heart of a modern aero engine, turbine blades spin at over 10,000 rpm in air over 250°C above their melting point, while extracting power equivalent to a formula one engine with each blade. In this presentation, I will describe how this is possible, and some of the other technologies which make a jet engine extraordinarily efficient, while at the same time ensuring the highest levels of safety.

About Mike Percival

Dr Mike Percival is Global Head of Manufacturing Engineering at Rolls-Royce plc. Originally trained as a Geologist, he moved from there to Mineralogy and then to Materials Science, before switching initially to Mechanical Engineering and finally to Manufacturing Engineering in 2000. He now defines the processes, methods and skills required to define how parts are made and products assembled across all of Rolls-Royce’s 87 factories in 17 countries. When he’s not in work he runs half marathons (off-road – it’s far more interesting!), makes fantasy costumes (Google Aratalindalë for the evidence) and organises things – most recently Oxonmoot, the convention of the Tolkien Society.

16.30 in Tsuzuki

Big Data Science: How the way we do research is changing

Malcom Morgan

A technological revolution is sweeping through the research community. Powerful computers, enormous datasets, and easy to use tools are allowing a new breed of researcher to ask new questions and develop amazing results. With examples from one of his own projects the National Propensity to Cycle Tool (www.pct.bike) Malcolm covers the latest developments in data science and how anybody can become a Data Scientists.

About Malcolm Morgan

Dr Malcolm Morgan is a Research Fellow at the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics, and the Sustainability Research Institute at the University of Leeds. A former Chief Editor of the Young Scientists Journal, Malcolm originally trained as a Civil Engineer. His research focuses on the use of Big Data techniques to address social and environmental challenges such as improving the energy efficiency of houses and promoting cycling. When now working Malcolm can be found soaring over the Yorkshire countryside teaching people how to fly gliders.

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