Sunday, 17 October 2010

Finally ...

I know - months have gone past without fresh words on this blog. I have not been entirely idle during this period, but few of my energies have been directed towards writing (evidently!).

Moreover, I have also recently been moonlighting online elsewhere and have just posted a piece on Science Oxford Online provoked by the pointless nature-nurture argument on a recent edition of The Today Programme following the announcement of a possible genetic component to ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

This comes as part of my increasing involvement with Science Oxford, a charitable organisation for the promotion of local science to the general public and also more generally to educate and inspire children and adults about science from across the globe.

For the younger generation, they provide what is called a "Discovery Zone", essentially a large, educative and interactive play pen, which provides seemingly hours of distraction and fun while also quietly demonstrating some of the laws of magnetism and gravity and the like.

While many adults also seem to gain as much enjoyment from these toys as their children, Science Oxford also organises events more specifically tailored to their age group on Thursday evenings. Over the past year, I have helped out at talks on topics ranging from sustainable farming to Alzheimer's disease via a celebration of the contribution of black scientists. They even allowed me an evening to consider how memory and identity interact. For those of you not in Oxford, many of the events are streamed and archived on the website and can be downloaded as video podcasts via iTunes (search for Science Oxford in the iTunes store). Their recent event on everything you always wanted to know about sex (whether or not you were afraid to ask) should be up there shortly and there will soon be talks on the universe and the atom (quite some change in scale!) along with a seasonal take on the science of fireworks.

But don't worry, Science Oxford has not entirely taken over my life and I shan't be forsaking this blog entirely.  I hope shortly to write about some of the science that has caught my eye over the summer months.  Without a 4 month delay this time, I promise.

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