Science, scientists and the public


The social structures and infrastructures of every country in the developed world have become increasingly dependent on science and technology.

The public are generally positive about the impact of technology on their lives. That’s the good news; the less good is that many members of the public fear that the introduction of new technology is under-regulated and express considerable distrust of the motives of scientists and their funders.

Many ways have been developed by which scientists might take their research directly to the public and  selected examples of thes

e will be critiqued during the presentation with particular emphasis on communication about research on topics that are potentially controversial, like for example genetic profiling, stem cell therapies and robotics. The presentation will end with an opportunity for discussion of what is the appropriate role for scientists to play at the interface between science and society.


Frank Burnet began his work in science by getting a degree in Biochemistry from the University of St Andrews. Then he spent a year as a volunteer in the Sudan working as an actor on their English language TV channel. Returning to the UK he combined registering for a doctorate in Neuroendocrinology at Oxford with trying to enter the acting profession through the Oxford University Dramatic Society. He went on to get his doctorate and become a lecturer in Biochemistry at the University of Kent in 1977

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