Hundreds of school kids hear from top genetics expert

More than 500 school pupils will today (December 9) gain an insight into human evolution by one of Britain’s foremost genetics experts.

Professor Steve Jones’ talk has proven so popular that some of the pupils attending will be watching it on a video link-up beamed into a different building to where his lecture is being given.

This is the first time the University of Aberdeen Christmas lecture has been delivered simultaneously in two separate centres.

A leading authority on evolution, Professor Jones is the author of many popular books on genetics for lay and specialist audiences. The Professor of Genetics at University College London has also made countless tv and radio appearances.

Organisers are delighted that Professor Jones is giving the talk which is aimed at S5 and S6 pupils who might be considering studying medicine and biomedical sciences.

Dr Neil Vargesson, lecturer in developmental biology at the University, said: “We are thrilled that Professor Steve Jones, given his distinguished reputation and standing, is giving the University of Aberdeen Christmas lecture.

“It is also incredibly timely given that this year is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and it is 150 years since Darwin published his famous book describing the process of evolution and natural selection.

“We are delighted that so many schools wanted to attend and as we didn’t want to turn any pupils away, the lecture, which is taking place in our Polwarth building, is also being beamed into next door’s Suttie Centre.

“I’m sure our young guests will be inspired by Professor Jones who will also help draw to a close a series of hugely successful University events celebrating Darwin.”

The hour long lecture takes place today at 1.30pm.

The Aberdeen Aberdeenshire and Moray secondary schools represented are: Alford, Banff, Bridge of Don, Cults, Dyce, Harlaw, Hazlehead, Inverurie, Mintlaw, Meldrum, Northfield, Turriff and Westhill Academies, Aberdeen Grammar and St Margaret’s School for Girls, Milne’s High School, Albyn School and Gordonstoun School.