We studied science rather than art for a reason, OK

We studied science rather than art for a reason, OK

Tracking life science stories from Down Under to Up North: we (S. & H.) are two life science graduates from the University of Oxford, now pursuing postgraduate degrees.

Upon graduating in 2014 we set up this site to follow science stories around the world, while making our topics accessible and (hopefully) engaging. We hope you enjoy our articles as much as we enjoy writing them and that you will be inspired to delve deeper into the fantastic world of science. We are happy to speak to prospective science students – if you have questions about studying life sciences at university, please get in touch!

H. is about to begin a Master’s degree in Bioinformatics at Imperial College, London. S. is beginning a PhD in Cardiovascular Research at the University of Cambridge and is funded by the British Heart Foundation. Views on this website and on Bio Detectives social media accounts (i.e. Twitter and Facebook) in no way represent views or advice from the BHF. Nor do we represent any official views from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge or Imperial College. It’s all us!

Our article on Women in Science won the Association of British Science Writers’ ‘Best Student Blog’ category in 2016 at the European Conference of Science Journalists in Manchester.

Since founding this website we’ve had some 15,000 unique visitors and around 70,000 views – we would welcome general feedback and suggestions for improvement. Some of our articles have been published elsewhere, including the popular sites Women’s AgendaScience Book a Day and  I Love My Science. We have also featured on a podcast for In The Abstract and published an article in Oxford’s science magazine Bang! Science magazine (see the ‘Women in Science’ issue). We were happy to co-write an article alongside the founder of debunking blog Scientific Blatherings.

S. was involved with the Sydney branch of ‘A Pint of Science’ in 2015, as well as the Cambridge Science Festival this year. She currently co-hosts the Blue Streak Science podcast each week alongside Jeff Goodwin, Kellie Vinal and Ivy Shih (all the science you can stand, and more).

We frequently publish guest posts by other Bio Detectives: our authors are dotted across the globe. If you are interested in guest writing for us, please email us at contact@biodetectives.co.uk or give us a tweet. We welcome pitches for potential articles and would be happy to discuss your ideas.

‘Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.” – Albert Einstein

If Einstein said it, it must be right! Right?

H & S.

  1. Dear S and H,
    I came across your website while I was searching for any tangible links to a subject matter my daughter is interested in i.e. Forensic Science. My daughter is entering GCSE’s this coming September. Although your content is a few standard deviations away, I thought you both may be able to offer some advise. I’m an engineer so I acutely aware of how under-represented women are in STEM careers. So I’m keen to nurture her love for the subject, but I’m finding little in the way of events for her to attend. Although, we did have a great day at Uni of Reading which hosted a CSI event with a mock crime scene. Uni events are particularly good as they also expose my daughter to universities.By way of background I follow StemNet, WISE Campaign and Stemettes. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Good luck with your studies.
    Kind regards,

    • Hi Vincent,
      Thank you very much for getting in touch!
      We’re glad you came across the site! From our perspective, at this stage in your daughter’s time at school the best thing would probably be to read as much as possible around the subject she’s interested in. Books we recommend (more related to genetics than forensics, but relevant and an important place to start!) include Genome, by Matt Ridley – this is now slightly out of date, but still a great introduction to genetics. A good understanding of genetics will help with GCSE biology and is of course paramount to modern forensic science. Other good popular science books include Nature via Nurture and anything by Nick Lane (though these are a bit heavier-going). For more of an introduction to psychology, as another aspect of forensic courses, books by Oliver Sacks (e.g. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat) and V.S. Ramachandran are brilliant. Scientific TV shows such as BBC’s Horizon and The Origins of Us are also great. For more of a DNA profiling/forensic perspective, there’s the recent show Code of a Killer (though perhaps that’s not age-appropriate yet). From our own experiences, reading and getting into these types of shows was how we became interested in life science subjects before reaching more advanced level at school. Sometimes local universities offer open lectures; other than that, as you say, Uni open days and courses tend to kick off during A-levels so in the meantime reading widely is probably the best thing!
      Good luck to your daughter!
      H & S

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