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York academics take part in Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition

Posted on 7 July 2021

Leading scientists from the University of York will share their research with a global audience as part of the Royal Society’s 2021 Summer Science digital showcase.

Prof James Chong (left) and Prof Gavin Thomas (right)Prof James Chong (left) and Prof Gavin Thomas (right). Image credit: Alex Holland.

The event this year is completely online -  running between 8 - 11 July -  and has a programme of inspiring talks and science activities for all ages.

Professor Gavin Thomas from the Department of Biology will share his innovative research into body odour in a series of videos, lectures, and online digital content entitled BO and Beyond.

Professor Gavin Thomas said: “For most people body odour (BO) might be nothing more than an awkward social stigma. But for scientists like myself, BO holds the key to scientific insights into the millions of bacteria that live on our skin  - and offers clues to the way our earliest ancestors used bodily smells as a method of communication.

“The summer science exhibition will be a fantastic platform for us to explain our work and we’re looking forward to doing that in a fun, accessible way to the online audiences.”


Professor James Chong’s exhibition called What a Waste, will explore how scientific research is transforming our understanding of the processes behind anaerobic digestion (AD) which promises to increase our waste recycling potential.

Professor Chong, from the Department of Biology, said: “We hope to inspire visitors with a new type of microbiology that goes beyond the microscope and the petri dish and enables us to investigate whole communities of thousands of microbial species, most of which remain unidentified and unseen.

"The audience will be able to see just how much is possible with the awesome power of modern genetic sequencing and bioinformatics and how this science is being applied to solve a real-world societal problem, such as waste management."


PhD student, Lucy McMahon from the Environment and Geography Department is also taking part in an exhibition called, 'Can nature help us to tackle the climate emergency?' The digital, interactive exhibition will give the public a unique opportunity to discover how carbon capture and storage solutions provided by nature are essential in mitigating and adapting to climate change in the coming years.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Professor Matthias Ruth said: “We are delighted that our research is reaching new and diverse audiences as a result of our academics taking part in the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition.

"One of our priorities is to share our research and in doing so demonstrate how the work of our academics brings about changes that benefit society."

Nineteen research groups from across the UK will be demonstrating their research through innovative digital experiences, from escape rooms and quizzes to virtual tours and digital games.


Further information:

To explore the full programme, visit The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition website.


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