Diary of a Postgraduate: Fire Up Those Brain Cells!

After reflecting on my undergraduate years, and psyching myself up for the start of my postgraduate life, my adventure is now officially beginning. I have moved back to Swansea, secured a part time job and now the countdown until the start of my course has begun.

I'm trying to get back into work-mode after what has been a very lazy summer. Luckily for me, Swansea University had the perfect opportunity to get me thinking and engaging with science: the British Science Festival. This is an event organised by the British Science Association which takes place at a different university each year. The festival sees leading researchers from all over the UK taking to the stage to share their knowledge and engage people from other disciplines in all areas of the scientific spectrum.

swansea
Science broadcaster Dr Emily Grossman joined together with her father, Professor Ashley Grossman to discuss the obesity epidemic and how understanding the brain and hormones could unlock a treatment for obesity.

I was lucky enough to be able to attend all four days of talks which varied from genome editing and 3D bioprinting (literally printing new body parts) to why we swear and the factors that influence our eating behaviour. Some scientists even ran interactive workshops. Neuroscientists Uta Frith and Chris Frith lead a workshop called “Making Science Graphic” where we practised turning scientific concepts into cartoon strips.

aimee
Making science graphic: I really enjoyed this workshop and was over the moon to meet Uta, who is one of my scientific idols.

Swansea Nutrition, Appetite and Cognition Research Group (aptly shortened to SNAC) also provided an interactive experience with their foodscape guided walk.

Aimee
Swansea Nutrition, Appetite and Cognition Research Group (aptly shortened to SNAC) also provided an interactive experience with their foodscape guided walk.

To round off what was a great week, there was a beach party with chemistry demonstrations, live music and, yes, more science. Although in true Swansea style, the party did have to be moved indoors due to rain!

PhD Student Amy Jenkins talks to the beach party audience about her research into dementia. Note the fabulous papier mâché brain!

The week provided some much-needed oil for those cogs in my head and left me feeling inspired and excited for the start of my postgraduate studies. Since Physician Associate Studies is a brand new course, I have no idea what to expect! Stay tuned to hear how it goes!

Until next time,

Aimee.

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