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NatMatSci STEM Communication Programme with astrobiologist Dr. Lewis Dartnel

We were delighted to welcome a renowned author, presenter, and science communicator, Dr Lewis Dartnell to NatMatSci, for a one day workshop as part of the STEM Communication Programme


Find out more from our Year One A level students Ashish and Aditya below:

Throughout the day, Dr Dartnel gave a range of fascinating, thought-provoking talks ranging from the neuroscience behind optical and auditory illusions to a detailed outline of specific chapters of interest from his acclaimed book “Origins”.

In particular, I found his explanation of what happens in the brain when we perform visual tricks incredibly interesting. Ultimately, he not only cast light on the overlap between science, history, and illusions but was an amazing example of how to effectively communicate complex ideas understandably.

Ashish Year 1

ExoMars rover (credit: ESA)

Listening to him speak, I found the things Lewis discussed to be of great interest and his way of presenting his ideas quite enjoyable; I particularly enjoyed the part of the talk where he revealed his findings about relationships between two variables that one wouldn’t expect there to be a pattern to such as the distribution of coal reserves in the UK and the voting patterns present.

Such comparisons between two seemingly unrelated things that have strong patterns of correlation and unravelling the reasons and dynamics behind these patterns was a unique and exciting experience for myself and my peers alike.

The section where he answered the questions we had about his experiences and perspectives on matters pertaining to the research he had done in astrobiology was fascinating and his enthusiasm and clarity when explaining both of these things was something that I found amazing, particularly when he discussed his links to the Curiosity Mars rover!

Aditya Year 1

Find out more about our STEM Communication Programme and studying A level Biology with us.