There is a historical precedent for major scientific advances that have come from those who have not necessarily followed the traditional academic route for their field. The field of genetics has been no exception to this phenomenon, from its conception by a particularly tenacious Augustinian monk to the somewhat less well-known story of a certain English public school teacher, Ronald Fisher.
James Brown, Biochemical Society
On the 1 May, the Biochemical Society will be at the opening film of the 18th London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film. Prior to the film, geneticist, microbiologist, comedian and all round good egg Dr Charlotte Mykura will be giving a talk which aims to separate the science from the fiction and explore how fact can be even more unexpected than film. The film in question is Chimera, a Sci-Fi horror in which (and I quote), “A brilliant but disturbed scientist’s children are in cryogenic suspension, while he races to cure their deadly disease by decoding the DNA of the immortal Turritopsis jellyfish. To progress he needs lots of stem cells. A manipulative millionaire can help but she has her own agenda!”
By Helen Albert, Editor
The distinction between art and science hasn’t always been as stark as the modern perception would have you believe. Early astronomers, mathematicians, inventors and biologists would have seen artistic work as an important part of their investigations. But as C. P. Snow pointed out in his infamous “two cultures” essay, the 20th century saw a movement towards specialisation and thus a segregation of the disciplines. However, in recent years the value of creativity and a different mindset in tackling scientific problems has been re-discovered.