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- Public engagement
This pages gives an outline of our upcoming and recent public engagement activites run by The Society. For activities run by our Members through our Outreach grant scheme and our Public Engagement grant projects, please see Funded activities.
Designer athletes: fair play or foul?
We organise events at science festivals throughout the year. The year we are running a series of discussion-based events that explore enhancements in sports. The event invites a public audience to discuss with a panel of expert speakers topics such as "Should caffeine be a banned substance in sports?".
The event has been held in London, at the Cambridge, Edinburgh and Glasgow Science Festivals. You can listen to a podcast from the London version of the event and individual interviews with the speakers over on our education resources website Understanding Life.
We ran our Modern Pentathlon Challenge (MPC) at the Brighton Science Festival in Feburary, and The National Big Bang Fair and Science in Norwich Day in March. In June we took the MPC to the Big Bang Fair South-West and will reprise this at the Royal College of Surgeon's event to accompany their Anatomy of an Athlete exhibition at the Hunteria Museum in August.
The MPC is our touring activity that brings the physiology of sport to school students and families. Using a Nintendo Wii and an exercise machine, participants can simulate the running and shooting event in the Olympic Modern Pentathlon. Kit from ADInstruments monitors breathing and heart rate. Society Members are on hand to describe the physiological changes that are happening, and provide further information about how The Society supports education.
Ultimately we aim to engage with young people and their parents about the relevance of physiology to their everyday lives, and give them an idea of the sorts of careers that could follow a degree in physiological sciences.
Baby Boomers and the Ageing Revolution at British Science Festival 2011
The Society, in partnership with the Academy of Medical Sciences, ran an event at the British Science Festival in September. Speakers Penelope Mason and Kenneth Howse from the University of Oxford and Dawn Skelton from Glasgow Caledonian, explored how and why we age, the societal and policy implications of this and what we can do to remain healthy in old age.
The event received some excellent questions and comments from the audience including a demonstration of an exercise to strengthen the arms while brushing your teeth! We live-tweeted the session, and a Storify of these tweets is available.
Live Twitter Q&A with Russell Foster, Professor of Neuroscience
At The Society’s Main Meeting ‘Physiology 2011’, The Society held a sold-out public lecture entitled 'The Rhythm of Life: how your body clock makes you tick'. We live-tweeted the fascinating talk, given by Professor Russell Foster, and followed up with a live Q&A on Twitter where anyone could ask Russell a question. A Storify of these questions and Russell’s enlightening answers and the public lecture is available.