Meetings and events
Each year we aim to invite an eminent speaker of academic excellence with first-rate skills in science communication, so we might learn from their life’s work and be inspired!
This year, the FLS Postgrad Society invited Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys to present our annual lecture entitled "Genetic Fingerprinting and the Turbulent Genome".
Sir Alec is a Professor of Genetics at the University of Leicester. His current research focuses on exploring human DNA diversity and the mutation processes that create this diversity.
He was one of the first to discover inherited variation in human DNA, then went on to invent DNA fingerprinting, showing how it can be used to resolve issues of identity and kinship and creating the field of forensic DNA. The subsequent impact of DNA on solving paternity and immigration cases, catching criminals and freeing the innocent has been extraordinary, directly affecting the lives of millions of people worldwide.
In 2010 we were very excited to announce Professor Lord Robert Winston as our guest speaker, who gave a lecture entitled ‘Bad Ideas?’ on Wednesday 12th May at 5:30pm in University place.
Professor Lord Winston, who is Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College London, is perhaps best known for presenting BBC programmes including Superhuman, Child of Our Time, and the BAFTA award winning The Human Body. Professor Lord Winston's knowledge and experience in scientific communication was a great inspiration to scientists in their early careers here in Manchester.
Our invited speaker in 2009 was Professor Bruce Alberts, editor in chief of the journal Science and Professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California. Many will also be familiar Professor Alberts’ textbook, ‘Molecular biology of the Cell’. Professor Alberts’ talk, entitled ‘Biology past and biology future: where have we been and where are we going?’ was a thoroughly informative, enjoyable and successful event.
The PG Society Ball
The post-graduate society also organises an annual ball for both students and staff. The event gives everyone an opportunity to enjoy an evening away from work and brings together everyone from across the faculties of FLS and medicine.
In 2009, our first ball was held in the historic Freemasons’ Hall in Manchester. The event was a resounding success, bringing together all parts of the faculty; students, post-docs and staff, for one bucks-fizz fuelled night of dancing and entertainment. This year’s ball took place on Saturday, May 8th in the Place Hotel, Piccadilly. The event followed in last year's success, and included a drinks reception, three course meal, DJ and live band. A fabulous time was had by all!
The society has also run informal Friday afternoon seminars for several years, in which 1st and 2nd year PhD students can present a short talk on their research. These seminars are a great way to gain experience in speaking to larger groups, an invaluable skill for any scientist. To make things as relaxed as possible, only other PhD students and post-docs attend and it is all accompanied by free beer and pizzas, making it a great way to end the week!
We also organise a number of smaller social events throughout the year. Events in the last year have included football and dodgeball games, a celidh and a fireworks display on bonfire night (as well as regular trips to the pub)!