Tonbridge Science Conference

Collaboration key in Scientific Careers

12th March 2023
BY Ian Fraser, Director of STEM

On Friday 10 March, I took six Sixth Form pupils to Kent to attend the eighth annual Tonbridge Science Conference. 

The title of this year's conference was ‘From Experiment to Discovery’ and it highlighted the benefits to scientific progress of collaboration and flexibility between STEM disciplines.

Keynote Speakers

This message of collaboration and flexibility was underlined by the three keynote speakers: Professor Lev Sarkisov discussed how Chemical Engineering will gain from advances in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, exemplified by the field of Carbon Capture; Sophie Harker described how an interest in Mathematics led her, via a degree in Engineering, to become the Assistant Chief Engineer of Electric Products at BAE Systems; and Sir Jim Smith of the Wellcome Trust then described how his study of the embryological development of frog tissues is offering a potential solution to people who have suffered cardiac tissue damage after a heart attack.

Student Presentations

Alongside talks from industry leaders, delegates from twelve schools also took the opportunity to give presentations on a range of contemporary issues.

The College was represented by Ben A. and Brian C. who detailed how FcRn inhibitors might be used to treat a condition that causes muscle weakness, myasthenia gravis; Dominic D. V. described the successes and dramatic failures he has experienced as a model rocket scientist; Maks F. and Eren A. updated us on their Earth Prize project, where they are developing genetically-engineered bacteria which can produce biodegradable plastic; and Bob G. entertained attendees with a compelling argument for rejecting traditional ideas on faunal turnovers in the Palaeozoic.

The presentations were well received and the students enjoyed having the opportunity to share their projects to a group of their peers.   

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