Teaching and Communicating Science in a Digital Age (Conference)

December 15th-17th 2014 saw me at Charles Darwin House (London) for the Society of Experimental Biology’s Education and Public Affairs symposium Teaching and Communicating Science in a Digital Age (click link to see full programme). This looked like a valuable event from the outset, but I can honestly say it turned out to be even better than expected. A pdf file (35 pages) capturing the Twitter feed for #SEBed2014 can be seen via this link. [UPDATE: I have also produced my first Storify from the tweets, which removes the retweets in the PDF, and puts them into a more logical order.]

It was good to catch up with old friends, to have the first face-to-face meeting with various Twitter friends and to make other new friends. Indeed, one of the striking things about the attendees was the lack of overlap with the HEA Bioscience regulars.

It would be invidious to pick out any one talk for special mention, but I would say the two sessions from which I got the most inspiration were “Engaging with the public and schools” and “Students as creators and communicators” (CoI declaration: my talk was in this session). At least two of the presentations were primarily delivered by current undergraduates, which was also refreshing.

I made three formal contributions to the symposium – a talk on our bioethics video-production assessment, and two posters (one on the Careers After Biological Science work, and one on Biology on the Box, my more recent project developing a library of recommended television clips for teaching biology). Links to all three can be found here:

The CABS programme involves Leicester alumni giving talks about their diverse careers which are then made available online.

The CABS programme involves Leicester alumni giving talks about their diverse careers which are then made available online.

Biology on the Box is my latest project, developing a library of recommended TV clips and programmes for teaching Biology

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Action Learning Sets: Improving projects with a little help from your friends

Marathon Finish LineI’m just staggering over the finishing line at the end of a marathon round of residential education conferences in which a nine-day burst saw me attending the Higher Education Academy STEM conference (#HEASTEM2013), the Society for Experimental Biology meeting on Tools for Evaluating Teaching (#SEBTET13) and the Heads of University BioSciences Spring Meeting (#HUBSSM2013). It will be months before I’ve had time to ruminate on all the various new ideas that emerged, directly or indirectly, from these sessions. This post will focus on just one “quick win” which I picked up from the middle event. In a short session, Peter Lumsden from the University of Central Lancashire modelled the use of an Action Learning Set for sharpening up the design of an educational research project. Continue reading

  • Awards

    The Power of Comparative Genomics received a Special Commendation

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