Birmingham – Biology

Wednesday 13th November 2019

10.45am to 3.30pm
Town Hall

plus two examiner sessions with Michelle Oldfield

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The Scientists appearing on the day

Prof Steve Jones

Is Man Just Another Mammal?

Humans and chimpanzees share approximately 95% DNA. But what does this really tell us about ourselves? Professor Steve Jones tells us what Darwin’s revolutionary idea and modern genetics reveal about homo sapiens.

A leading research geneticist (at University College London) and a prolific author with many beautifully written books on evolution, none more so than Almost Like A Whale, which updates Darwin’s world-changing publication, taking into account a century and a half of major advances in evolutionary biology. What’s amazing is how intact Darwin’s great idea remains today. This will be at the centre of Professor Jones’s lecture.

Prof Robert Winston

Human Progress 

The pioneering figure in IVF treatment, Robert Winston, has a rare gift for communicating scientific ideas in the most engaging way imaginable. We are lucky to have him speaking in-depth about the science of human progress and the ethical questions this raises.

He is a medical doctor, distinguished scientist, particularly in the area of human fertility in which he is a pioneer of IVF treatment. He, like most of our contributors, has the gift of being able to communicate in a most engaging way. not surprisingly he is also a well-known broadcaster and in addition he is also a politician who sits on the Labour Party benches in the House of Lords. We are lucky to have him speaking in-depth about the science of human reproduction and its manipulation.

Dr Jenny Rohn

Revenge of the Microbes

What are bacteria? How do antibiotics work? And what can we do about increasing antibiotic resistance? Dr Jenny Rohn will look at the fascinating and terrifying world of bacteria.

She is a cell biologist from University College London, where she is head of a cell biology lab which looks at how the cells of our body interact with invading bacteria. She has also studied cell shape for a Wellcome Trust Fellowship. As well as this, she is the author of two novels and founder of the website

Dr Giles Yeo

How the Brain Controls our Bodyweight
Giles Yeo is the Principal Research Associate at the Metabolic Research Laboratories and Director of Genomics/Transciptomics at the MRC Metabolic Diseases Unit, University of Cambridge. He is also President of the British Society for Neuroendocrinology. His book Gene Eating: the science of obesity and the truth about diets, draws on his research into how the brain controls food intake and how this differs between lean and obese people.

Professor Gina Rippon

The Gendered Brain

Gina Rippon is Professor of cognitive neuroimaging at the Aston Brain Centre, Aston University. She will talk on the themes of her book, The Gendered Brain, which draws on her cutting edge research in neuroimaging and repudiates the received wisdom we encounter from birth, that men and women are ‘wired differently’.