Seven days in science - 3 September 2010

03 September 2010

An exciting new Local Heroes exhibition on the pioneering mathematical biologist D’Arcy Thompson opens today (3 September) at the University of Dundee.  From major figures of 20th-century modernism to today’s students at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, the exhibition covers a wide range of media and styles, all linked by D’Arcy Thompson’s writings and collections.

A public lecture about D’Arcy Thompson also takes place tomorrow afternoon.  For more details visit Other Local Heroes events taking place this week include the lectures: Could Saturn's moons support life? At Codsall Library, South Staffordshire (7 September) and The John D Mackay memorial lecture: Orkney and the Royal Society (8 September) at King Street Hall as part of the Orkney International Science Festival.

Designing and building cities is complicated work.  It requires the knowledge and skills of numerous specialists, such as scientists, engineers and architects, and ultimately will impact on the lives of many more thousands, if not millions, of people. The panel discussion Our buildings, our neighbourhoods, our cities? (13 September) will consider how the specialists of today can work with each other and the wider community to create cities that we all want to live and work in tomorrow. The discussion will be chaired by Alok Jha of the Guardian.

Last week the Royal Society published results of a new ICM poll showing that attitudes to women in science are changing – but there is still more work to be done on public awareness and perceptions.  Just 12% of 18-24-year-olds polled were able to name a female scientist such as Marie Curie while nearly half (47%) were able to name a male scientist such as Albert Einstein.  However, when asked to choose a suitable role model for young girls, 47% of respondents chose ‘life-saving doctor’ while ‘Nobel prize-winning scientist’ came second with 20% of first mentions.  Only 5% of respondents chose a celebrity chef or chart-topping pop star as the most suitable role model.  Find out more from the BBC.