Professor Alice Roberts' Lecture and Best Scientific Poem prize awarded

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On the evening of Monday 13th March, as part of our full week of activities in celebration of British Science Week, we were delighted to welcome Professor Alice Roberts, who came to the school to talk to the girls on The Human Journey.

Izzy and Amber summarised the evening:

"On Monday evening, we had an incredible speaker Dr Alice Roberts come in and talk to us about her book The Incredible Human Journey, which she had written while she was pregnant with her second child – she explained to us that her children had been a big inspiration for her book. 

We were lucky enough to go to the lecture supper beforehand and gain a further insight into her more complex research about the human anatomy and the evolution of Homo sapiens.  During the lecture itself, she spoke about embryonic development in the first eight weeks after conception.  She was able to make the audience understand very complex concepts with her energetic and enthusiastic presentation.  Her passion for the subject shone through, making the lecture enjoyable and accessible for a wide variety of age groups.  It was interesting to hear about foetal development because it is something that is very relevant to us all.  Very few of us had ever thought about our origins in such detail and it gave us a real insight into our evolution.  At the end of her lecture, Dr Roberts presented prizes to the winners of the Scientific Poetry Competition.*  Overall, it was a fantastic and informative evening, thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended and was a great start to British Science Week."

* Scientific Poetry Competition

For the BSW17 competition this year, the girls were invited to write a scientifically accurate poem on the theme of Change. The winner was Maia, with her beautiful poem, Dust to Dust. Maia read her poem out at the end of the lecture and was presented with her prize by Professor Alice Roberts.  Many congratulations Maia.

Dust to Dust

Lost in the race against immortal darkness,
Now begins the permanent blindness as we are
Swallowed up by crumbling earth
The air we once needed lying stagnant
In our previously heaving lungs
The unconscious inhale and exhale
That sweet beating drum suddenly
tacet.
Our breath is snatched, the drum stick snapped

Fleshy, sinuous limbs reduced to calcium and keratin.
Muscle once packaged in supple skin
Now shrunken and shrivelled
Translucent and thin
Its dull, grey hue
Framing lips of indigo blue

Eyes permanently veiled by curtains of Egyptian parchment:
The show is over.
But who can be certain that there is no epilogue
A holy reunion with angels and a loving God:
Met by St. Peter at the pearly gates,
An image clasped tightly by those who wait

So we scratch and we claw at The Unanswered Question
Desperately clinging to any suggestions
But alas, what is this quintessence of dust,
Are we not merely like iron: destined to rust?

For we must all pass into Oblivion
That bloody battle ground frequented by science and religion
Falling into a land where
Our minds are robbed of thought
But isn’t there always some comfort to be sought:
We all once had dreams that danced behind our eyes

Maia (LVI Form)