The Data are Analyzed and the Results are in: the Next Generation is Filled with Curies and Einsteins 

|
|

Volunteering is an aspirational and transcendent exercise of goodwill that usually endsup on the very bottom of my to do list. Yet, when your company offers a paid day to volunteer inaddition to bank holidays and a generous amount of personal time off, it takes less inertia tostep forward and assist. I certainly enjoy volunteering my body for manual work. Mulching trails, liftingand moving donated goods, walking a campus asking fellow students for donations – I’vesweated quite a bit. But giving back comes in many forms, including those of a more intellectualbent. A former colleague once encouraged me and a team of medical writers to try judging our local science fairs, and his encouragement struck a chord. So, I finally tried it. 

Science has always been my underlying passion, though the only science fair project I everpresented was a 7-year-old’s demonstration of how to recycle paper. Nevertheless, the scientificmethod is now part of my psyche, a deliberate framework of how I think and navigate the world. This mindset is a result of all my years doing experiments and writing in graduate school. Still, while I’ve presented numerous posters, contributed as an author on papers, and successfully defendedmy dissertation, a middle school science fair was frankly terrifying. I assumed going into thisordeal that these 12–14-year-old kids would be far beyond the classic papier mâché volcano built by momand dad. And I was right. 

I submitted an application to judge the former of two categories, life sciences and physical sciences. I chose life sciences for two reasons. One, since this was my first time as a judge, I was going to judge the genre of science I know best. Two, my 12-year-old daughter joined this very same science fair andentered a project within the physical sciences. I could never countenance a conflict of interest, not even in a school science fair! I was thrilled when the fair coordinator reached out and welcomed me to be among the six judges for the life sciences category. About aweek before the fair, we judges received an email with a link to the abstracts for all 19 life science entries.Students also included slides showing their hypotheses and data. My work had begun. 

Ladies and gentlemen, 12–14-year-old children don’t get enough credit or respect. They.Are. Smart. And they work hard! Just a sample of the project entry topics were growing plants under different wavelengths of light, documenting the genetic lineage of fingerprints, testing a varietyof water treatment methods, timing the Stroop effect among different age populations. Did youcatch that? Remember, these are middle school students. I didn’t learn about the Stroop effectuntil taking psychology at university. My fellow judges agreed, we had our work cut out for us. 

The science fair took place in a local high school gymnasium. Middle school projects on oneside, high school projects on the other. The place was buzzing with excitement. Though I’ve never been a judge before, the sight wasfamiliar. Squint a little, add in free pharma swag and elegant silver coffee dispensers, and thescience fair would have been a run-of-the-mill medical conference. Upon seeing thetri-fold posters for the first time, the project titles, students’ names, and hypotheses were familiarfrom reading their abstracts and slides. But standing next to their colorful posters, the studentsmade these projects come to life. The variety of expressions on the students’ faces were a familiar mix of shyness, nerves, and excitement. 

I too was nervous, but, along with my judging guidelines, I had some clear scientific questions of my own that I wanted these young scientists to answer. Did they have a clear hypothesis? Did they follow the scientific method? Did they have a healthy amount of data? Did they show these data in a graph or other visual representation? After drawing a conclusion from their data, did they discuss the implications of their results? And the icing on the cake, did they think of even more questions from their conclusion? Oh yeah, what was their favorite part of the project? That question triggered the most smiles and excited answers. Remember, they’re still kids! 

The clock struck. Ready…present! We judges mingled evenly among the students to not overlap. I spent about 5–7 minutes at each project and made sure to: 1) shake their hand and introduce myself; 2) hear their hypotheses; 3) look at their data; 4) ask each student or group a couple of pertinent questions to get them to think about the scientific process and perhaps the impact of their work; 5) ask them the favorite question; and finally 6) thank them for their time, diligence, and incredible projects. 

Two projects quickly became four, four became eight, eight became sixteen, and they all started to blur. My notes were messy, but my mind was surprisingly clear. By the time I reached the final two projects, I had been interviewing, listening, and thinking for almost two hours. It was the final two projects that surprised me. Clear hypotheses, clear data, interesting outcomes, presentations that hit on all the major aspects of the projects. The posters were also easy to read. The final presentations were especially polished! 

Walking back to the judges’ room, I was ecstatic for what I had just witnessed and experienced. Young minds applying the scientific method, many clearly having enjoyed doing experiments and learning how to collect and interpret data. To my astonishment, when I met with the other judges, we each had the same top five projects. The seasoned judges were not so surprised. Though all these kids created neat projects, some, mostly experienced 8th graders, put every scientific aspect together for standout projects. After a brief discussion, my picks for first and second place were swapped for the final award decision. My third place received an honorable mention, and the final third place award was my number five! My sixth-grade daughter didn’t place in the physical sciences category, but she was named most promising young scientist, and I couldn’t be prouder. She’s already thinking about next year’s project! 

The fair helped me appreciate that we’re all scientists, young and old. Young middle schoolers understand how to do science; this is certain as every project I reviewed followed the scientific method. Yet, these students also understand the importance of science in a world, a universe, so full of wonder, curiosity, and baffling questions. We do stand on the shoulders of giants. For millennia, scientific understanding, footing, was built, rebuilt, and continues to grow as we try to understand everything from the tiniest subatomic particle to the largest supermassive black hole and the most complex living organisms with brains and circulatory systems that arise from carefully copied DNA.  

I can attest that young scientists are intrepid and will transcend current limits. These kids fully understand the impact humans have on the world. They can interpret data and know what we’ve done to planet Earth. Above all else, I am hopeful for the future of our kids and the planet. This new generation of scientists is asking critical questions and thinking in new ways to answer them. If you don’t believe me, go to your local middle school science fair and see for yourself. I’ll certainly be back next year, using my volunteer day to witness once again this new generation of young scientists, learning, growing, and ready to show their data and support their hypotheses! 

MedComms = something about medics (I think?)

Menopause: It’s only natural so let’s get ready

Home or the office? How to choose the most convenient and productive work set-up

Privacy Policy

Updated October 2022

This website, www.wearescientific.com, is operated by AS&K Communications Limited (“we”, “our” or “us”) as the holding company for Group Scientific (known hereas “Scientific Group”). We are committed to safeguarding and preserving the privacy of our visitors. By using and visiting our website and by submitting your personal information to us you agree to us using your personal information as set out in this privacy policy. This Privacy Policy document (the “Policy”) explains what happens to any personal data that you provide to us, or that we collect from you whilst you visit our site and how we use cookies on this website. We respect the privacy of users of our website and recognise that when you choose to provide us with information about yourself, you trust us to act in a responsible manner with that information. This privacy policy contains important information about how we use your personal information.

Scientific Group reserves the right to amend or modify this Privacy Policy Statement at any time and in response to changes in applicable data protection and privacy legislation. All changes will be posted on this page. We encourage you to review our Policy periodically to remain informed of changes that may have occurred.

Information That We Collect

In running and maintaining our website we may collect and process the data about you. We may gather the following information about you:

  • Information about your use of our site including details of your visits such as pages viewed and the resources that you access. Such information includes traffic data, location data and other communication data
  • Identifiable Information submitted by you or someone acting on your behalf. Generally this information is requested when you want us to provide you with information. We will collect personal information that can identify you, such as your name, e-mail address, and other similar information (“Your Information”) when it is voluntarily submitted to us
  • Information that you provide when you communicate with us by any means
  • Information provided by you in relation to submitting a job application to us (this may include sensitive personal information e.g. ethnic origin)

Use of Your Information

We use the information that we collect from you to provide our services to you. In addition to this we may use the information for one or more of the following purposes:

  • To provide information to you that you request from us relating to our products or services.
  • To provide information to you relating to other products that may be of interest to you. Such additional information will only be provided where you have consented to receive such information.
  • To inform you of any changes to our website, services or goods and products.
  • To process and consider your job application

If you have previously purchased goods or services from us, we may provide to you details of similar goods or services, or other goods and services that you may be interested in.

We never give your details to third parties to use your data to enable them to provide you with information regarding unrelated goods or services.

Storing Your Personal Data

In operating our website it may become necessary to transfer data that we collect from you to other group companies, affiliates and third parties to help us process your personal information for the purposes set out in this policy. Some of these locations may be outside of the European Union. By providing your personal data to us, you agree to this transfer, storing and processing. We do our utmost to ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to make sure that your data is stored securely and that the third parties who receive your personal information are required to keep it confidential..

We are a global company and therefore we may transfer your personal information to countries around the world including the US and other countries outside Europe. We will, where necessary, put in place appropriate safeguards to ensure your information is protected.

Disclosing Your Information

We will not disclose your personal information to any other party other than in accordance with this Privacy Policy and in the circumstances detailed below:

  • In the event that we sell any or all of our business to a buyer, in which case we will require any such buyer to agree to treat Your Information in accordance with this Privacy Policy Statement.
  • Where we are legally required by law to disclose your personal information.
  • To further fraud protection and reduce the risk of fraud.


Third Party Links

On occasion we include links to third parties on this website. Where we provide a link it does not mean that we endorse or approve that site’s policy towards visitor privacy. You should review their privacy policy before sending them any personal data. These websites may use cookies and collect your personal information in accordance with their own privacy policies. This privacy policy does not apply to third party websites and we are not responsible for third party websites.

How long do we keep your information?

We will keep your information for a reasonable period for the purposes set out above.

Contacting Us

Please do not hesitate to contact us regarding any matter relating to this Privacy Policy and to have any inaccuracies in your information corrected via email at info@wearescientific.com or by phone at: +44 (0) 20 7428 2900

Or by post at:

AS&K Communications Limited
Data Protection/Scientific Group
5–6 Underhill Street
London
NW1 7HS
UK

Terms of Use

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Last Updated 6 October 2022  

By accessing this website you agree to be bound by these Terms & conditions (“terms”), please read them carefully. If you do not agree to be bound by these terms you should not access or view this website.

Who we are:
AS&K Communications Ltd. The holding company for Group Scientific (known hereas ‘Scientific Group’)
We are registered in England and Wales under registration number: 05169581
Our trading office is: 5-6 Underhill Street, Camden, London, N1W 7HS, United Kingdom
VAT Registration number: GB 272753585.

  1. The information contained in this website is intended for general information purposes only. Scientific Group has made all reasonable efforts to ensure that the information on this website is accurate at the time of inclusion, however there may be inaccuracies and occasional errors for which Scientific Group apologises.
  2. Scientific Group makes no representations or warranties about the information provided through this website, including any hypertext links to any website or other items used either directly or indirectly from this website. AS&K accepts no liability for any inaccuracies or omissions in this website and any decisions based on information contained in Scientific Group’s websites are the sole responsibility of the visitor.
  3. The information and images contained within this website are © Copyright Group Scientific. We permit you to make copies of this website as necessary incidental acts during your viewing of it; and you may take a print for your personal use of so much of the site as is reasonable for private purposes. You may not frame this site nor link to a page other than the home page without our express permission in writing. 
  4. You shall not use this website for any illegal purposes and in particular agree that you shall not send, use, copy, post or allow any posting which is defamatory or obscene within the meaning of the Obscene Publications Act or which is abusive, indecent or in breach of the privacy of any person. You agree not to send any unsolicited promotional or advertising material, spam or similar materials or any volume messages that may interfere with the operation of this website or with the enjoyment of this website by other visitors.
  5. Scientific Group reserves the right at any time and without notice to enhance, modify, alter, suspend or permanently discontinue all or any part of this website and to restrict or prohibit access to it.
  6. You hereby agree to indemnify Scientific Group against any costs, claims, losses and damages (including legal fees) incurred by or awarded against Scientific Group as a result of your misuse of this website or your breach of these terms.
  7. If you are in breach of these terms or, of Scientific Group’s Privacy Policy, Scientific Group may as its option, suspend or block your access to this website and refuse to provide you with any further access to it.
  8. This website is provided to you free of charge, and neither Scientific Group nor any of its subsidiary or affiliated companies accept any liability to you (except in the case of personal injury or death caused by its negligence or for fraud or as required by law) whether in contract, tort (including negligence) or otherwise, arising out of it in connection with this website. Scientific Group accepts no liability for any direct, special, indirect or consequential damages, or any other damages of whatsoever kind resulting from whatever cause through the use of any information obtained either directly or indirectly from this website. Your sole remedy is to discontinue using this website.
  9. These terms may be amended by Scientific Group from time to time.
  10. Your use of this website and downloads from it, and the operation of these terms & conditions, shall be governed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales. The English courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction over any dispute arising out of your use of this website.

In the event that any or any part of the terms contained in these terms & conditions shall be determined by any competent authority to be invalid, unlawful or unenforceable to any extent, such term shall to that extent be severed from the remaining terms which shall continue to be valid and enforceable to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Please send any enquiries by email: info@wearescientific.com

Contact us by phone: +44 (0) 207 428 2900

Or by post:
Scientific Group – AS&K Communications
5–6 Underhill Street  
London NW1 7HS
United Kingdom

Cookie Policy

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts.

More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

  • Assisting you in navigation;

  • Assisting in registration to our events, login, and your ability to provide feedback;

  • Analyzing your use of our products, services or applications;

  • Assisting with our promotional and marketing efforts. (including behavioral advertising)

Below is a detailed list of the cookies we use on our Website. Our Website is scanned with our cookie scanning tool regularly to maintain a list as accurate as possible. We classify cookies in the following categories:
  • Strictly Necessary Cookies

  • Performance Cookies

  • Functional Cookies

  • Targeting Cookies

You can opt-out of each cookie category (except strictly necessary cookies) by clicking on the “cookie settings” button below: Customize Settings

Cookie-List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.
Cookie Subgroups Cookies Cookies Used Lifespan
asandk.com ask_session First Party Session
asandk.com XSRF-TOKEN First Party Session
 

Analytics Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies, we will not know when you have visited our site.
Cookie Subgroups Cookies Cookies Used Lifespan
asandk.com ga,_gid First Party 730 Days, A few seconds,
 

Targeting Cookies

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They can be used by these third parties to build a profile of your interests based on the browsing information they collect from you, which includes uniquely identifying your browser and terminal equipment. If you do not allow these cookies you will still see basic advertising on your browser that is generic and not based on your interests
Cookie Subgroups Cookies Cookies Used Lifespan
asandk.com _gat_gtag_xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx_gat_xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx First Party A few seconds, A few seconds, A few seconds
asandk.com, communications.asandk.com, visitor_id##### First Party 3650 Days
google.com 1P_JAR,_gcl_auNID,HSID,SSID,SIDCC,SID,SAPISID,DV Third Party 365 Days 180 Days, 183 Days,1095 Days,1095 Days,1095 Days,A few seconds
google.com __Secure-1PAPISID,__Secure-1PSID,__Secure-3PAPISID,__Secure-3PSIDCC,OTZ Third Party 1095 Days,1095 Days,,1095 Days,365 Days,,365 Days