By Lucy Yeomans
Science Outreach Officer, Royal Holloway, University of London
This Saturday is our annual Science Open Day (www.rhul.ac.uk/scienceopenday) and it looks set to be a corker. There will be a whole range of spectacular science on offer from members of our very own science departments as well as some very special guests. I’m particularly excited about this year’s theme of Pills and Potions because of the close connection with our Founder, Thomas Holloway, who made his fortune with patent pills and an ointment. Holloway used a significant sum of this fortune to commission and establish our university in 1879. We’ll be having a special display of objects related to the Founder from our own collection, the Science Museum collections and Wellcome Trust collections at the event.
Of course such a theme is also a great excuse to run fun activities on ‘wizard magic’ and pill-making as well as show off current scientific research at Royal Holloway. In Biological Sciences Professor Peter Bramley will exhibit his fascinating research into the potential health benefits of enhancing the pigmentation of tomatoes; while in the Geography department Dr Innes Keighren will be running hands-on sessions inspired by PhD student Caroline Cornish’s research on the medicinal powers of the cinchona tree, whose bark can be used to treat malaria.
The Science Open Day is the single largest outreach event run by Royal Holloway and is a great way to excite young people about science as well as inform the public of contemporary science research. I hope our visitors will take the opportunity to quiz our staff and students about their work and studies to build a bigger and better picture of the scientific community.
While I get back to the final preparations for the day (just had a request for a swimming pool of slime) feel free to look at the full programme of activities available on our webpage. If you are following us on Twitter you can find out more, plus keep an eye out for our #FounderFact in the run up to the day.
We hope to see you on Saturday!