Monday, November 01, 2010

Weeknote #24 (w/e 31/10/10)

Last week we held our synthetic biology event as part of the Manchester Science Festival. Over 130 people turned up for Artificial Life: Perils and Pitfalls, and we heard from Ron Weiss of MIT, Maureen O'Malley from Exeter, and Steve Yearley from Edinburgh. Gerry Kelleher, our Deputy Vice-Chancellor, also said a few words at the start. The overall feedback from the audience was excellent, and I think we can class it a success, although I might have hoped for a little more intellectual "argy bargy" (the audience members who asked questions were generally already quite sympathetic to the synbio "cause"). All in all, a great evening, and we thank the panelists, audience members (and, of course, our sponsors at the EPSRC) for making it so.

I was also booked in to talk at another event over the weekend, but found myself double-booked (my own silly fault). A fifth birthday party regretfully trumped a fourth Teawitter Party, although my Ph.D. student, Pete, came to the rescue, for which I am eternally grateful. His talk on crowds was, by all accounts, very well-received, so maybe he's one to watch in the public engagement stakes...

It was also, of course, Halloween this weekend, so no post would be complete without a picture of our very own little witch. She's been super-cute in the last few days; we're big fans of The Cube, and she solemnly informed us, while we were watching it yesterday, that if she won £25K she would give it straight to daddy, because she's "not big enough to have pounds." Awwww. Like I'm any better with money!

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