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Exploring the science behind medicine

14 March 2009

A student from St Julian’s in Newport demonstrates an ear examination simulator.A student from St Julian’s in Newport demonstrates an ear examination simulator.

Ever wondered why people blink? What stops the surface of the skin from being torn off in a rugby tackle? Or what the likely healthcare response to a nuclear accident in Cardiff would be?

More than 500 A-Level students from 35 schools had the opportunity to find out the answers to these questions and much more at the annual Science in Health Live event at the School of Medicine.

Out of the thousands of events taking place across the UK for National Science and Engineering Week, it is one of three events shortlisted for the British Science Association’s Best Science Event Award. The winner, due to be announced next week, will receive a £1,000 prize from the Engineering and Technology Board (ETB).

Now in its 16th year, Science in Health Live is part of the University’s programme of events for National Science and Engineering Week (6-15 March 2009). It allows young people to discover the real science behind medicine, and see first hand the study and career options open to them in health, biomedical and scientific fields.

Students from St John’s College, St Mellons, learning how to intubate a patient.

Students from St John’s College, St Mellons, learning how to intubate a patient.Students from St John’s College, St Mellons, learning how to intubate a patient.

The theme of this year’s event was Charles Darwin and the lunchtime lecture was given by Professor Anthony Campbell, of the School of Medicine and also Director of the Darwin Centre in Pembrokeshire. Professor Campbell charted Darwin’s transformation from schoolboy to genius.

James Matthews, a member of Cardiff University’s ‘Public Understanding of Science and Health’ (PUSH) group, said: "This year we have the involvement of more than 150 members of staff from across the University. We are very proud of our research track record at the School of Medicine and wish to convey to the students some of the thrill to be had from scientific discovery allied to the chance of improving medical treatment.

A full listing of National Science and Engineering Week events at the University can be found here.

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