By Joy Aston, in2scienceUK
In2Science helps young people from low income backgrounds progress to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers with the aim to not only improve social mobility, but also encourage a more diverse and inclusive culture within the sector. We work by leveraging the STEM community to host bespoke two-week work placements, matching students with active researchers in academia and industry. In2scienceUK coordinators also provide all the students with university access workshops and careers guidance.
Continue reading Getting in2science
By Dr Derry K Mercer, Principal Scientist at Novabiotics Ltd & member of the Biochemical Society Policy Advisory Panel
The UK Government recently published a Green Paper ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’ in which the urgent need for developing skills in further/higher education and the workforce was outlined. The document noted that while the UK higher education system was strong, our achievements in basic and technical skills was relatively poor and has led to the lower levels of productivity compared with other advanced economies.
The skills issues were outlined as follows:
- lack of basic skills;
- shortage of high-skilled technicians below graduate level;
- skills shortages in STEM sectors;
- the need for informed career choices;
- lack of lifelong learning opportunities.
For anyone working in the molecular biosciences, whether in academia or industry, most of these concerns can hardly have come as a surprise and represents a huge problem for a growing sector that currently generates turnover of over £56 billion per annum. Indeed, the skills and productivity gaps were pointed out in an earlier UK government document ‘Fixing the foundations: Creating a more prosperous nation’ in 2015. Continue reading “The demand for skills development in the molecular biosciences”
By Benjamin Simpson, Shenfield High School, Essex, UK
When I arrived at the lab, the first thing I noticed was how casual everything was. Even the principal investigator arrived at about 11am. I expected to find a strict regime of when to arrive, what to do and what to wear. Anna and Nikki were my supervisors in the Attwell lab at University College London. My project involved using zebrafish to investigate the development of myelin (a substance which is wrapped around neurons to increase conductivity). Zebrafish are especially useful because they are transparent allowing us to view the development under a microscope without harming the fish or embryo. On the first day of my placement they were only a few hours post fertilisation and so were still just a bundle of cells on a yolk. I learnt how to maintain the embryos through filtering out the dead ones and changing the water. Continue reading “Investigating zebrafish with in2scienceUK”