Addressing the North West Science Alliance
This evening one of our team members has the honour and privilege of addressing members of the North West Science Alliance at their quarterly meeting. The North West Science Alliance (NWSA – I can never understand why scientists, especially those involved in academia revel in acronyms), was established to bring together those parties with an interest in science in the North West of England.
I am not too sure of the organisation’s mission statement, but in essence a very broad definition of science is given by the NWSA, they cover medicine, natural sciences, engineering, physics, chemistry, biology, technology – an eclectic range of scientific disciplines, as the Chairperson, the very capable Lorelly Wilson says herself: “if in doubt, it’s [the science discipline] included”.
The North West of England has a strong tradition in the sciences with many major science based employers having premises, research stations or factories within the counties of Cheshire, Lancashire, Cumbria as well as the metropolitan areas of Manchester and Merseyside, areas that the NWSA covers.
The geology of the area favours many of these industries, Cheshire is close to the major port of Liverpool, the flat Cheshire plain has proved an ideal location for many chemical companies in particular. In the past; there was access to coal fields to the south and the especially soft water of the area was ideal for use in many industrial processes. One of the things the NWSA aims to do is to act as a conduit for schools, colleges and such like helping them to gain access to science demonstrations and scientists to enrich learning.
Such endeavours, just part of what this highly enthusiastic group undertake, will no doubt help to encourage the next generation of scientists. Certainly, students can have a tremendous enthusiasm for science if they can be motivated and encouraged by innovative and exciting teaching programmes.
From our own point of view, we are not sure what is more daunting, casting a Tyrannosaurus rex tooth from a latex mould in front of a dozen or so excited Year 6 students all wanting to help and all so keen to get involved, or addressing this esteemed body.
Hopefully, our presentation looking at ways in which the NWSA could develop its presence on-line will prove helpful to them. We certainly have learnt a lot since we started attending about two years ago.
I am sure we will be able to make further contributions to assist this group of dedicated individuals in the future.