The start of the Lent term saw the Lower Sixth biologists travelling to London for a series of lectures by some of the most prominent lecturers and personalities of the biology world. During A-level Biology Live we watched several fascinating talks on a variety of subjects, including genetics, microbial resistance to antibiotics, the teenage brain and scientific fraud.
While we gained an inspiring appreciation of the many different routes biology A-level could lead us to, we also were taught an important lesson in the importance of ethics to science in a sobering talk by Lord Robert Winston on the birth and development of eugenics, and how ground-breaking science such as Darwin’s theory of evolution can be manipulated to support much darker purposes.
We also learnt of the importance of critical thinking in regards to science in the substantially lighter talk by Dr Ben Goldacre, where we were shown examples of how statistics are used in misleading ways and the role of journalism, fraudulent studies and sensationalism in the MMR hoax. All in all, it was a highly engaging and interesting day, and an important experience for young scientists.