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

News and Current Events

Women, science is not for you: III
Friday 11th, 25th, 2017 1.50 pm New Town Theatre (Venue 7) Tickets here

We're back at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with Dr Clare Taylor, from Edinburgh Napier University, and Frances M. Lynch from Electric Voice Theatre.

"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) discuss 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. One of the Cabaret’s most popular returning acts!"

Superwomen of Science Network
Launched on 20th June
We are creating a website and network of "Superwomen of Science'.
The website was designed and built by undergraduate student Zoe Wall in collaboration with Prof Emma Hart and Dr Oli Mival, at Edinburgh Napier University.  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 Ambache Trust, the Institute of Physics in Scotland and the Society for Applied Microbiology and much of it will feature in the new Superwomen of Science Edinburgh Festival Fringe Show.  Please keep checking back, over the coming months, as we continue to populate the site and we'd love to see you at one of our Fringe shows.

Scottish Superwomen of Science (Minerva Scientifica)

Sat 5th 5.45pm
Sunday 6th 1pm
Wed 9th 5.45pm
Friday 11th 8.30pm - Signed Performance
Saturday 12th 3pm
Monday 14th 5.45
Thurs 17th 11am - Touch Tour AD
Sat 19th 3pm
Sunday 20th 3pm
Mon 21st 11am – Schools & Public Performance
Tuesday 22nd 11am - Schools & Public Performance
Fri 25th 8.30pm 
Sat 26th 1pm 
Sun 27th 1pm

Novo Science is working with Electric Voice Theatre in researching and delivering science for a new Edinburgh Festival Fringe Show, called 'Scottish Superwomen of Science'. This incorporates research undertaken by Mrs Catherine Booth, into the forgotten achievements of historical Scottish female scientists, together with the work of contemporary scientists.  
This production will build on last years' award-winning Fringe show 'Superwomen of Science' and Theatrical virtuosa, Frances M Lynch, will again sing new spectacular stories of female scientists, and their achievements, through the medium of high quality music by female composers.

Working with local primary schools!
Canal View p6 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 of questions were incredible; "why does air-wick and hair gel form a solid", "how many atoms are in your body", "how does a bacterium attack the kidney", to name but a few. Our MD, Dr Pam Cameron, grew up in Wester Hailes and is thrilled to be back where she went to nursery school and to give something back to  the community. Hear their musical contributions on the new Superwomen of Science website on the profile of Andrea Nolan, Pam Cameron and Marion Ross..

We're also going to Currie Primary School, in August, to deliver some science taster workshops, based on the work of many inspirational female scientists, with 20 lucky pupils getting the chance to attend the Fringe show for free!  We hope to have a few more local primary schools on board and are focussing on South West Edinburgh for the moment. Please get in touch if you'd like more information.

Previous Events

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 and diarrhoea made an appearance and we take pride that we've finally perfected our recipes when when 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, at Heriot Watt university, 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 Dr Maïwenn Kersaudy-Kerhoas (Heriot Watt University) with Dr Helen Bridle, Dr Tom Asprey, Prof Mark Desmulliez (all Heriot Watt 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 Dr Clare Taylor (Edinburgh Napier University) and Dr 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 the Apes:
"In Rise of The Planet of the Apes we 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 the 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...

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

The museum invited us, on three occasions  to present at their  Museum Lates events, which were centred 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 with loss of 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 analyse 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.