Novo Science - Novel science with an interdisciplinary remit to understand and control infectious disease - educational games - public outreach - consultancy

News and Current Events

All News is Fake News!
Look out for this show running as part of the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas.  We're part of the initial creative team but we won't be on stage performing this year.  Let me introduce you to Prof David Finnegan and Sarah Keer Keer, both from University of Edinburgh, who have a gameshow treat in store for you, if you dare attend.   Susan Morrison will again be compering.

Superwomen of Science

Sculptures of E. coli and a Trypanasome were created by the talented ArtFe, whilst The "Women in Science Rock' was carved by Martin Wilson from Hatch Burn Carve and is a 13 kg chunk of Cornish slate.  Both featured in the Scottish Superwomen of Science show and will later feature in an exhibition (watch this space).

Keen to redress the of historical and contemporary female scientists, we have bitten the bullet and created a new website

The website was designed and built by undergraduate student Zoe Wall in collaboration with Prof Emma Hart and  Oli Mival, at Edinburgh Napier University.  The schools of Computing and Applied Science funded the initial design and build and we will be continuing this important work throughout 2018.  It already features the life and work of some overlooked female scientists (researched by Catherine Booth at the National Library of Scotland)  and uniquely pairs each scientist with a female composer; some music being specifically composed to reflect the outstanding scientific achievements.  This work has been generously supported by the Institute of Physics in Scotland and the Society for Applied Microbiology.   Please keep checking back, over the coming months, as we continue to populate the site.

Novo Science also worked with Electric Voice Theatre, throughout 2017, in providing novel content, researching and delivering science for a new Edinburgh Festival Fringe Show, called 'Scottish Superwomen of Science'. This incorporates research undertaken by Catherine Booth, into the forgotten achievements of historical Scottish female scientists, together with the work of contemporary scientists.  

Working with local primary schools!
Canal View p6a pupils are creating three new musical pieces for "Scottish Superwoman of Science" and NovoScience has been tasked with checking the science content and also letting pupils get hands-on with science workshops.  We popped in to say "Hi' last week and the range "why air-wick and hair gel a solid", "how many atoms are in your body", "how does a bacterium attack the kidney", to name but a few. Our MD, Pam Cameron, grew up in Wester Hailes and is thrilled to be back where she went to nursery school to give something back community. Hear their musical contributions on the new Superwomen of Science website, on the profiles of Andrea Nolan, and Marion Ross.

We also branched out to Currie Primary School delivering some science taster workshops, based on the work of many inspirational female scientists, with 60 lucky pupils getting the chance to attend the Fringe show for free! 

Previous Events
Women, science is not for you: III
Edinburgh Festival Fringe 11th & 25th, 2017

In this ‘post-truth’ era, we desperately need more scientists to critically evaluate evidence for political and corporate claims; we can’t afford to keep losing many of our best women.  Clare Taylor (Edinburgh Napier University), Pam Cameron (Novo Science) and Frances M. Lynch (Electric Voice Theatre) discussed what we can do about this loss, bring evidence for five explanations for why highly qualified and ambitious women are deserting science, and sing the praises of some overlooked Scottish Superwomen of Science.

Bad Bugs Fighting back
September 2016 saw us head back to the best little science festival in the UK (we might be biased) - Bang Goes the Borders.  We created an antibiotic attack game to show how bacteria are fighting back and developing resistance to our medicines.  The obligatory vomit, pus made an appearance and we take pride that we've finally perfected our recipes a child exclaimed 'that smells like poison'.

Bacterial Polymers: detectives and assassins
Midlothian Science Festival, October 2015
We delivered a "sell-out" capacity workshop demonstrating how bioengineers, are hoping to use bacterial polymers to trap and make your drinking water safer.

Small plumbing! Empowering the next generation of microfluidic engineers 

Small plumbing won the Heriot-Watt Public Engagement 2015 prize in the category “Team award”. 
Novo Science was a partner in this public engagement scheme designed to inspire teams of S2 pupils, at two secondary schools, to "empower girls and boys to investigate engineering and discover the enabling power of microfluidic technology by challenging them to create a chip for everyday use or resource-scarce settings".  

The project was led by Maïwenn Kersaudy-Kerhoas ( University) with Helen Bridle, Tom Asprey, Prof Mark Desmulliez (all University) and Dr. Pam Cameron (Novo Science).

Bridle, H., Morton, J., CAMERON, P., Kersaudy-Kerhoas, M. (2016) Design of problem-based learning activities in the field of microfluidics for 12-13y old participants: "Small Plumbing: Empowering the next generation of microfluidic engineers" Microfluidics and Nanofluidics Microfluidics and Nanofluidics 20 (7), p103. DOI: 10.1007/s10404-016-1770-x

Women! Science is not for You! &
Women! Science still isn't for You!
The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas
The Stand in the Square, Edinburgh  August 2014 & 2015

"Why are women deserting sciences in droves? Is it unconscious bias, a lack of aspiration, lack of confidence - or just lack of ability? Are we failing our daughters, or is this just the way things are? With females making up half of the population, a lot of science, maths and engineering talent is going to waste. A debate between the audience and Clare Taylor (Edinburgh Napier University) and Pam Cameron (Novo Science) tried to unpick the problems whilst highlighting recent research into science's big gender problem."

CAMERON, P. & Taylor, C. (2015). Women! Science is not for you. Software Sustainability Institute (online).

The Evolution of Viruses of Mass Destruction
Cineworld, Edinburgh (July 2014)
Novo Science, in conjunction with SciScreen and the British Science Association Edinburgh, presented a short talk, and Q & A session at the screening of Dawn of The Planet of Apes:
"In of The Planet of learned about a gene therapy, delivered by a virus, in order to cure Alzheimer’s disease.  A side-effect was that the apes become more intelligent.  In 'Dawn of The Planet of Apes', we discover that the same ape-enhancing virus is lethal to humans and has wiped out most of humanity.  Hear about examples of current infections that can alter brain function, viruses that could wipe out 90% of humanity and the potential for gene therapy to cure many current diseases."  The virus described, which is capable of killing 90% of those infected, was Ebola virus, which turned out to be very topical, given the tragic outbreak in Western Africa, at that time.

Museum Lates;
Dinosaur night, Mary Queen of Scots and Mammoths
National Museum of Scotland

The museum invited us, on at their  Museum Lates events, which were around dinosaurs, Mary Queen of Scots and mammoths.  We hope everyone enjoyed extracting DNA from "dino poo" and learning whether pre-historic bacteria could infect us.  Our herbal "medieval medicine", at the Mary Queen of Scots event, dove-tailed in nicely with the learning teams' object handling and maladies game.  We talked interesting folk and shared our knowledge of the therapeutic properties of some common herbs.  Finally, we turned the tables and asked YOU to determine the definite reason for the extinction of mammoths by pitting two teams against each other, who had to recent scientific publications on competing theories.  You rose to the challenge and decided it was a combination of climate change, which caused habitat loss, and that hunting by humans just pushed them over the edge.  As a little extra, I shared some of the recent science behind the drive to clone mammoths.