Posts Tagged ‘science festival’

She blinded me with science!

We are fortunate enough to be in town during the annual Cheltenham Science Festival. Each year, this festival brings in dozens of excellent speakers and puts on exhibitions that appeal to people with all levels of science knowledge. This year, some of the big-name speakers include James Watson (one of the co-discoverers of the helical structure of DNA) and Peter Higgs (one of the namesakes of the Higgs-Boson particle).

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Today after class, Steven and I decided to explore the wonders of the festival. Of the group of Cedarville students, Steven and I are the sole science majors, and thus the only ones interested in attending. Even so, we had a great time. We were privileged to listen to a lecture held by Jenifer Glynn, the sister of Rosalind Franklin.

IMG_1457Rosalind Franklin was a prominent scientist in the mid-20th century who studied the structure of carbon and analyzed the composition of the tobacco mosaic virus. She is most famous, however, for her contribution to the discovery of DNA’s helical structure. James Watson and Francis Crick used her discoveries (largely without her knowledge), and published their treatise on DNA’s structure before anyone else in the world. Franklin would have received the Nobel Prize for this discovery along with them, but died of ovarian cancer at the age of 37, five years before the prize was awarded. Although the story has a sad ending, Franklin accomplished significant works within her short life. It was neat to hear from Ms. Glynn, and to get a perspective of Franklin’s life outside of the lab.

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Incidentally, Gustav Holst, a Cheltenham native who wrote a series of pieces called The Planets, was Rosalind and Jenifer Franklin’s music instructor when they were children. A statue of him is installed in a fountain at the center of the park where the science festival is held.

This afternoon has been filled with the menial tasks associated with living on one’s own…doing laundry, buying groceries, making dinner, etc.

It was my first time using a laundromat!

It was my first time using a laundromat!

A group of the Cedarville students in my set of flats have joined with those living in the adjacent flats to form a sort of dinner club. One person makes (or buys) dinner for the group, on a rotation schedule. It saves a bit of money in the long run, and is a good way to build friendships. Tonight, we had pizza and vegetables. It was probably one of the more nutritious meals of late, and we had a lot of fun :)

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That’s all for this evening. Time to review for class tomorrow!