Pupils put scientists on spot with Big Questions

Pupils put scientists on spot with Big Questions

Pupils will be quizzing some of Aberdeen’s brightest brains at a special ‘Question Time’ session taking today (Wednesday, March 17).

The University of Aberdeen is marking National Science and Engineering Week with a series of events including a Big Questions in Life Sciences – Biodiversity session.

Almost 150 S4 pupils taking Standard Biology are attending Big Questions where they will be quizzing a panel of University scientists.

The Aberdeen City and Shire schools - Albyn School, Lathallan School and Northfield, Oldmachar, Portlethen and Westhill Academies - were asked to submit questions ahead of the event.

And queries on climate change, possible pandemics and other topical issues are expected to be put to the panel, which comprises:

·         Professor Anne Glover who is Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland and Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University

·         Professor Pete Smith, Royal Society-Wolfson Professor of Soils and Global Change

·         Professor Monty Priede, marine biologist and Director of the University’s Oceanlab

·         Dr Ben Davies, environmental economist

·         Dr Sarah Dalrymple, plant ecologist

Dr Mark Young, environmental biologist, is taking on the ‘David Dimbleby’ role and chairing the event which takes place at the Polwarth building.

He said: “It is amazing how what seem to be the simplest questions turn out to be the most important and difficult to answer, and I am really looking forward to hearing what the panel say about these great questions and whether they can tell us how to save the world!”

Professor Anne Glover added: “It’s important for young people to realise the huge impact science has on their lives every day, and this event will help them understand some of the complex issues scientists deal with in their work. It will also give the young people in the audience an idea of the huge range of opportunities available to them if they choose a career in science.”