This blog post was written by James Lush, the Biochemical Society’s Policy Officer
As the first ever Biology Week draws to a close – although not before I take part in a world record attempt this afternoon – we can reflect on what has been a very successful week all round. On Monday, our two Lunchbox roundtable series combined for a special joint event on the future of research careers. On Tuesday I was fortunate enough to attend Ada Lovelace Day Live! at the Institute of Engineering and Technology, a remarkable variety evening featuring an array of entertaining and inspiring female role models involved in science and engineering. My personal highlights were Sarah Angliss’ robot/theramin performance (oh yes) and the delightful compèring of Helen Arney, who’s science-based comedy and singing is a real treat. I also discovered ‘The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage’, a comic drawn by the extremely talented Sydney Padua.
The celebration of Ada Lovelace did not end on the ‘official’ day either, with fringe events still taking place. This afternoon sees the Royal Society host a women in science Wikipedia workshop and edit-a-thon (subsequent article about this available here) followed by a panel discussion led by Uta Frith FRS. And last night the Science Grrl calendar – which aims to showcase the ‘real face of female scientists’ – was launched at the Science Museum. You can find out more and purchase one here.
In other news, this week also saw Ed Miliband become the first leader of a major party to support the campaign to reform the libel laws of England and Wales, which is being driven by English PEN, Index on Censorship and our friends at Sense About Science, who we also met this week to discuss their work in plant science and GM. I’ve written a little about the campaign on the Society of Biology’s blog previously.
With this being such a busy time, it was unsurprising that I ended up missing out on something, and it turned out to be one of the highlights of the week: the RVC Late event at the Royal Veterinary College last night. As an anatomist by training I was very disappointed to miss the horse dissection demonstration and lecture on epilepsy, as well as the chance to explore the museum. But at least I still have the world record attempt to join in with!