Women in science
The Institute of Physics report last week on the lack of girls progressing on to study physics at A-level continues to cause concern but is not surprising. Of course we need more positive female role models in the sciences and physics in particular and of course the media need to give more exposure to those that do exist.
Let’s face it: there is wonderful chemistry in everything that surrounds us. Chemistry is behind simple things from colourful clothes, makeup and other beauty products to delicious fresh food and drink. Never believe the labels that say “chemical free” – it’s impossible.
The ability of certain pathogens, such as those which cause malaria, influenza and HIV, to disguise themselves and evade host immunity poses an enormous challenge to developing vaccines against these important diseases. Just what do these bugs have in their wardrobes that enables them to keep outwitting us? Can we find a way to use this knowledge against them?
The flush of flowering of poppies in a field makes the point very visually – the control of flowering time is a tightly regulated process. All the poppies choose to flower within a day or two of each other, having individually integrated a range of environmental and endogenous signals over many months.
Born and raised in Tunisia, I was taught at a very early age how to praise education and knowledge. However, as in any developing country, resources for cutting- edge research are always limited. So, I knew that I had to leave and explore the world.
Recession, debts, budget cuts, tax – it’s all about saving money these days, and identifying the sectors of society with highest and lowest return per invested penny. One UK sector that is renowned for its ability to deliver excellence on very limited budget is science and technology: over 10% of global scientific output is produced in the UK, despite the fact that our country only holds 1% of the global population, and spend less on science per capita than most other countries.
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