Join us for an evening of five true, personal stories about discoveries, misadventures, and surprising ways science pops up along the way. Hosted by our executive director, Liz Neeley!
Maria Arruda is a PhD pharmacologist with a passion for diplomacy and communication. Five years ago, she accepted a voluntary exile from her beautiful Rio de Janeiro, moving to "Good Old Blighty", leaving behind her lab on redox and heme signalling to create and manage a successful Transatlantic Programme in Drug Discovery at the University of Nottingham. Alongside her academic and institutional endeavours, this Campaign for Real Ale member tries her best to entertain her stiff-upper-lip British husband and her 17-year-old daughter, and to convince them that you can't beat a BBC4 documentary about railways.
Brian Mackenwells currently works at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics as the Public Engagement Officer. For the seven years before that he worked at "Science Oxford", an Oxford-based science communication charity, developing and delivering science shows and workshops to all ages of young people. In his spare time he acts and directs as part of an amateur dramatics group, and co-writes the monthly audio-drama podcast "Action Science Theatre". He has also derived E=MC^2 live on stage in the back room of a pub, floated in zero gravity, and has only made two children cry in the course of his public engagement career to date.
Jess Thom is co-founder of Touretteshero and may or may not lead a secret double life as a superhero. Artist, playworker, and expert fundraiser, Jess currently helps coordinate a large play project in South London. Jess has had tics since she was a child but wasn’t diagnosed with Tourettes until she was in her twenties. With some encouragement from her friends, Jess decided to turn her tics into a source of imaginative creativity and the Touretteshero project was born.
Dr Melanie Windridge has a PhD in Plasma Physics from Imperial College London, where she worked on fusion energy at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) in Oxfordshire. Melanieis the author of Aurora: In Search of The Northern Lights and is currently Business Development Manager for fusion start-up Tokamak Energy. A gifted story-teller withan infectious passion for her subject, Melanie inspires audiences with her unique perspective on science, geography and travel, firmly believing that science and exploration go hand in hand.