2 December 2011

Celebrating the Wellcome Trust's 75th Anniversary

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is giving local students the opportunity to explore genome research

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Wellcome Trust, here at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute our Public Engagement team and our researchers are giving local students the opportunity to explore the Institute's research.

Students at Sawston Village College will get to quiz a panel of Sanger Institute researchers in a live web chat over two days, December 2 and 7, at which they can ask the scientists anything about their research. The initiative began on November 21 and runs until December 16. It includes introductory sessions to the Sanger Institute and activities where the students explore what being a scientist involves and find out about Sanger Institute researchers and their work.

"This is an extraordinary and unique experience for the students at our school," explains Terry Saunders, teacher at Sawston Village College. "This is one of the rare opportunities when all the teenagers in the class have a voice and the chance to ask questions in such a project. This will go a long way to encourage the students that they have the ability to follow in the steps of these researchers."

"It's these types of initiatives that gives much needed confidence to the minds of young people today."

There are 14 researchers involved in the project, eager to share their expertise and enthusiasm with these young minds. The topic that will be covered by this web chat, 'How will genome research affect our world?' is important to the whole of society.

" I'm delighted that my colleagues and I are involved in such a progressive project that makes science more accessible to the public. This is an innovative opportunity to spark excitement in teenagers who may have never considered a scientific career. "

Professor Mike Stratton

"I am delighted that my colleagues and I are involved in such a progressive project that makes science more accessible to the public." says Professor Mike Stratton, Director of the Sanger Institute. "This is an innovative opportunity to spark excitement in teenagers who may have never considered a scientific career."

The project is a collaboration between the Sanger Institute and Gallomanor who have developed the website where the event is taking place. Gallomanor have run similar projects with schools over several years with their successful I'm a Scientist, Get me out of here! which is part funded by the Wellcome Trust.

"The great thing about these projects is that it involves the entire class engaging with scientists using the internet in a way that they are really comfortable with having used Facebook, Twitter and MSN," says Steve Scott, Acting Manager of Public Engagement. "This is a great opportunity for teenagers to discuss science openly and ask the questions they want to ask. It also enables our scientists to hear what young people think about their research and how it may affect them."

"The hope is that this project will be run regularly and that more schools in the Cambridgeshire area and beyond will get involved in the project next year."

This is just one of the many events that has been organised by the Wellcome Trust, marking 75 extraordinary years of funding the brightest minds in biomedical research to achieve scientific interest. The Trust will be supporting each centre to engage their local community with the story of the past 75 years of biomedicine in their field and the challenges that the next 75 years will bring.

Your Genome

The Your Genome website is intended to help people understand genetics and genomic science and the implications for us all. It is produced by the Public Engagement team at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.
www.yourgenome.org

I'm a Scientist, Get me out of Here!

'I'm a Scientist, Get me out of Here!' is a science dialogue event where school students talk to real scientists online for two weeks. It's in the form of an X Factor-style competition between the scientists.
http://imascientist.org.uk/

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is one of the world's leading genome centres. Through its ability to conduct research at scale, it is able to engage in bold and long-term exploratory projects that are designed to influence and empower medical science globally. Institute research findings, generated through its own research programmes and through its leading role in international consortia, are being used to develop new diagnostics and treatments for human disease.

Website

The Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. We support the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. Our breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. We are independent of both political and commercial interests.

Website

Contact the Press Office

Don Powell Media and Public Relations Manager
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambs, CB10 1SA, UK

Tel +44 (0)1223 496 928
Mobile +44 (0)7753 775 397
Fax +44 (0)1223 494 919
Email press.office@sanger.ac.uk

* quick link - http://q.sanger.ac.uk/111202