Upcoming Events

Equality, diversity and inclusion in science and health research

Tue26
Jan

18:15

Equality, diversity and inclusion in science and health research

Dr Lilian Hunt
18:15, Tuesday 26 January 2021

Dr Lilian Hunt is the programme lead for EDIS, a coalition of 18 organisations in the life and health sciences committed to improving equality, diversity and inclusion across the sector, hosted by Wellcome. Her talk will cover how the coalition and its members have worked together to identify sector-wide issues and taken action as a collective to develop solutions. She will touch on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on both researchers and health inequalities as an example of the systems thinking approach needed to improve EDI, as well as what the next steps for positive change could look like. Lilian received her PhD in genetics from UCL whilst at the Francis Crick institute in 2018 and has been working on EDIS with Wellcome since 2017.
Link for UCL students and staff is on the moodle page.
For non UCL staff/students, please sign up to the event for free here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/equality-diversity-and-inclusion-in-science-and-health-research-tickets-132425864325?aff

Visualizing Molecular Structure and Function in Soft Matter Using Vibration

Wed27
Jan

13:00

Visualizing Molecular Structure and Function in Soft Matter Using Vibration

Prof. Sapun Parekh
13:00, Wednesday 27 January 2021

Lecture given by Prof. Sapun Parekh.
Structure-function relationships often define how molecular processes give rise to macroscopic observables. In this talk, I will present an overview of our recent work using nonlinear vibrational spectroscopic imaging to reveal unique structure-function relationships in polymeric soft matter systems. We have used this imaging technology to map protein structure in fibrin biopolymer networks (that lie at the heart of blood coagulation) and demonstrated that fibrin biopolymers change structure in a spatially heterogeneous manner when exposed to tensile, but not shear, loads. This result hints at a unique self-regulating mechanism via a direct biophysical feedback loop in a physiological context. In another project measuring real-time water transport, we have shown that under-coordinated microscopic water transport and macroscopic proton transport are related in nano-structured polymer fuel cell membranes. From these data, we have proposed a strategy to boost efficiency in fuel cell membrane materials. The ability to measure molecular properties of soft materials in heterogeneous environments and correlate those properties with functional behaviors in situ offers new insights for rational design of next-generation materials.
For UCL students and staff find the link on Moodle
Non-UCL staff/students, sign up for free via this Eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/visualizing-molecular-structure-and-function-in-soft-matter-using-vibration-tickets-138161311201

Science communication during a pandemic: are we part of the problem?

Tue02
Feb

18:15

Science communication during a pandemic: are we part of the problem?

Dr Rohin Francis
18:15, Tuesday 2 February 2021

he last 12 months have placed science front and centre in the public eye like never before. Politicians and the media have come in for deserved criticism regarding how they have misrepresented scientific research, but what about scientists themselves? A huge amount of junk science has been published and worse still, clear science communication has been rare. In an era when anyone can communicate with the public via social media platforms, there has been a cacophony of messaging, both good and bad. "Dr" Rohin Francis is one such self-appointed science communicator, trust what he says at your peril!
Link for UCL students and staff is on the moodle page.
For non UCL staff/students, please sign up to the event for free here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/science-communication-during-a-pandemic-are-we-part-of-the-problem-tickets-132426267531

Adhesives at the Beach: Characterisation, Synthetic Mimics and Applications of Marine Biological Materials

Thu04
Feb

18:15

Adhesives at the Beach: Characterisation, Synthetic Mimics and Applications of Marine Biological Materials

Professor Jonathan Wilker
18:15, Thursday 4 February 2021

Imagine trying to live at the beach, constantly being pounded by waves. Nature has developed intriguing classes of adhesives for allowing mussels, barnacles, and oysters to stay in place. By contrast, consider all of the adhesives that you can buy at the hardware store. None function well in water. How do these animals stick in such an environment? What can we do with this technology once we understand it? Our group is working to uncover these secrets of how shellfish. We are then using insights for the development of biomimetic materials. In doing so we have created new materials that can bond more strongly than Super Glue. These synthetic polymers also appear to be one of the strongest underwater adhesives seen to date. Surgical connection of tissues may be less traumatic when we can transition from sutures and screws to biocompatible adhesives. Replacing carcinogens in plywood and fiberboard adhesives will have significant health impacts. Other applications of focus include creating debonding adhesives for electronics to enable recycling, making replacements for the toxic glues used in cosmetics, and developing underwater adhesives to aid coral reef restoration efforts.
 
Link for UCL students and staff is on the moodle page.
For non UCL staff/students, please sign up to the event for free here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/adhesives-at-the-beach-characterization-synthetic-mimics-applications-tickets-135576552117?aff=

Writing science into people’s brains

Tue09
Feb

18:15

Writing science into people’s brains

Andy Extance
18:15, Tuesday 9 February 2021

How would you react if I told you science was useless in guiding people’s everyday lives? Your response could be just one of many important points about getting your message across I hope to cover in this talk.

Journalists and editors – including science writers – learn to exploit tricks that seek to manipulate what we pay attention to. As chair of the Association of British Science Writers and a regular contributor to Chemistry World, I’ve become familiar with many of them.

Those tricks have some things in common with what medicinal chemists are aiming for when they try to develop drugs targeting the central nervous system. Communicating is all about psychology. Psychology is all about what’s going on in your neurons – which ultimately all comes down to chemistry.

These underlying phenomena are vital for helping people to use science. To bring a finding to the public, the public must want to know about it. Part of that is about the value of the research itself, but much also relies on the principles of how we think.

Link for UCL students and staff is on the moodle page.
For non UCL staff/students, please sign up to the event for free here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/writing-science-into-peoples-brains-tickets-132424195333

Past Talks

The Creation of Molecular Nanostructures with Unusual Electronic

Tue12
Jan

18:15

The Creation of Molecular Nanostructures with Unusual Electronic

Professor Harry Anderson
18:15, Tuesday 12 January 2021

The dream of building integrated circuits from single-molecule electronic components has been discussed since the 1970s, as the ultimate in miniaturisation. It is still a remote prospect, but there have been dramatic advances in our ability to synthesise molecular wires and test their charge-transport behaviour. This lecture will present some of my group’s recent research on the design, synthesis and characterisation of molecular wires. This includes both linear wires, which mediate charge-transport over several nm with high conductance, and molecular wire nanorings, which exhibit aromatic or antiaromatic ring currents. Aromaticity was once thought to be limited to small molecules, but we have shown that it extends to rings with circuits of at least 162 π-electrons, as demonstrated by studies of a 12-porphyrin nanoring. One day, it may be possible to use structures of this type as single-molecule electronic devices. 
Link for UCL students and staff is on the moodle page.
For non UCL staff/students, please sign up to the event for free here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/molecular-nanostructures-with-unusual-electronic-and-optical-properities-tickets-134153606047?aff

The Future of Particle Physics

Tue19
Jan

18:15

The Future of Particle Physics

Dr Harry Cliff
18:15, Tuesday 19 January 2021

Dr Harry Cliff will explore whether particle physics is in crisis following the drought of new discoveries at the Large Hadron Collider and whether we need a new generation of giant colliders to continue to explore nature at the smallest scales.
Link for UCL students and staff is on the moodle page.
For non UCL staff/students, please sign up to the event for free here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-future-of-particle-physics-dr-harry-cliff-tickets-134153740449?aff

Two Sides of the Same Fish: Developing Tools for Scientific and Social Questions

Wed20
Jan

13:00

Two Sides of the Same Fish: Developing Tools for Scientific and Social Questions

Madina Wane
13:00, Wednesday 20 January 2021

Madina Wane is a PhD candidate at Imperial College London who has recently submitted her thesis in immunology. In this talk, she will discuss the importance of developing new systems to explore scientific concepts in different ways using the example of her PhD research. Her research has focused on assessing zebrafish as a novel animal model to study respiratory immunology.
As scientists, our goals revolve around explaining unanswered questions. This requires us to challenge assumptions and explore ideas in a diversity of ways. However, with financial, social and time pressures placed on scientists, it is often easier to go along with conventional practices.
In addition, the talk will cover Madina’s work as a co-founder of Black in Immuno, an organisation tackling racial inequity in immunology. This will highlight how scientists can use the same critical thinking skills to address scientific and social issues and make positive contributions to society and our communities.
Link for UCL students and staff is on the moodle page.
For non-UCL staff/students, please sign up to the event for free here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/two-sides-of-the-same-fishdeveloping-tools-for-scientificsocial-questions-tickets-136420269699