Competition success for Life Sciences students

Issued: Mon, 13 Jun 2016 10:44:00 BST

Four students in the School of Life Sciences reached the final shortlist in the 2016 Biochemical Society Science Communication competition.

Now in its fifth year, the competition attracted 63 entries which were reviewed by a panel of expert judges. The competition asks entrants to create an engaging, creative article or video explaining biomolecular topics to the general public. 

Jennifer Hallam, Heidi Forsyth, Carlos Gamio and Lauren Carruthers entered the competition after completing two Science Communication workshops as part of their L4 course. 

About the workshop

Heidi Forsyth and Lauren CarruthersThe first workshop saw the students learn about different types of Science Communication and how the use of language is critical for not only communicating ideas clearly and succinctly, but also in captivating and maintaining the interest of their reader. ‌

After some practice in class students were then tasked with drafting an 800 word article on one of four topics, suitable for entry into a Science Communication competition. 

Jennifer, Heidi and Lauren chose to write about the threat of antimicrobial resistance, while Carlos wrote a historical article on Paul Ehrlich and his work to find a cure for syphilis.

Jennifer HallamThese drafts were then peer reviewed by their fellow students at the second workshop, and formative feedback was also provided by course tutor Dr Tansy Hammarton. 

‌Based on this feedback, the students then edited and extended their articles to 1500 words, which were then assessed as part of their degree coursework.  After receiving their grades and feedback, students then had the option to further edit their work and enter it into the Biochemical Society competition. 

Resounding success

Dr Hammarton, Institute of Infection, Immunity & Inflammation, said: “This was the first year the Science Communication workshops and assessment have run and I am delighted that it was such a resounding success. Carlos Gamio

"To have four of our undergraduates make up 25% of the final shortlist of the Biochemical Society Science Communication Competition, having competed alongside undergraduate, Masters and PhD students from across the UK, is fantastic and a real testament to their talent, enthusiasm and hard work. 

“At least one student is now considering a career in Science Communication.”

Public engagement

Dr Hammarton also plans to compile a booklet of the best class articles and to use it in Public Engagement and Outreach work.

Read the shortlisted articles below:

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