News from Mr Ramsey

Visit from Professor Lord Robert Winston

On Thursday we welcomed Professor Lord Robert Winston to Verulam as a culmination to our British Science Week celebrations. During his visit, Year 12 and 13 received a talk on the interrelation of science and humanities. His speech was awe inspiring where he interlaced anecdotes from his vast career and scientific knowledge whilst appealing to the non- scientists of the Sixth Form.

He began by introducing the aeroplane as one of the biggest dangers to man. Crashes and terrorism were suggested however, in actual fact, the transportation of disease via air travel is the most prevalent threat. He spoke about the challenges faced by science in the prevention of the spread of disease and the mistakes that have been made.

He went on to talk about scientists’ need to have more humanity when dealing with the ethical considerations of scientific research whilst those who study humanity must maintain a grasp of modern science and the importance of having knowledge of both fields.

He invited questions from the floor and quite surprisingly when asked if his passion was for science he initially responded with “no”. He then went on to talk about the interest it sparks in him to find out new things and he loves doing that. He said that everyone should do what they love to do.

Other questions came with his opinion of the research of embryonic stem cells. He spoke of the ability to change the genome and the unknown effects of doing so giving us an example of transgenic mice becoming viscous as a result of altering their genome. However, successes in research come from genetically modifying pig organs to eliminate antigens for use in human transplantation reducing rejection by the body.

Headmaster’s Commendation

This week’s Headmaster’s commendation goes to Bruno Winter of 7C who represented Great Britain fencing in Valencia and who came 9th out of 135 competitors. An achievement to be very proud of. I would also like to commend our highly successful Year 12 Dragon’s Apprentice Challenge team who won the awards for Best Presentation and most Innovative Business idea at Monday’s final at the University of Hertfordshire.

Congratulations to Rob McKee, Michael Lawman, Samual Costantini, Alex Towle, Tom McLoughlin, Logan Schoonraad, Fadil Sharif, Andrew Martin, Dominic Maddison, Theo Neame.

P A Ramsey

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