SEB+ Brighton 2016 - Programme

SEB+ Programme

The following SEB+ sessions will take place at SEB Brighton 2016. Read more about each session below.

Careers Day: Making sense of your science

Date: Sunday, 3 July 2016


Ms Sarah Blackford (Head of Education & Public Affairs, SEB) and Dr Jenny Sneddon (Liverpool John Moores University, UK)

  • 10.30 – 12.30: Introduction to communication - Ms Sarah Blackford (Head of Education and Public Affairs, SEB+)
  • 12:30 - 13:30: Lunch
  • 13.30 – 15.30: Getting your voice heard - Dr Alun Anderson (former Editor-in-Chief, New Scientist), Claire Marriott (University of Brighton and ‘Voice of Young Science’ ambassador) and representatives of the media

If you don’t communicate your research, it doesn’t exist! Publishing and talking about science is a vital part of a scientist’s role nowadays, but it can seem daunting, especially when engaging with the public and the media.

Now an established pre-conference event, our Careers Day aims to prepare our members, in particular PhD students and early career researchers, for the main conference as well as offering training in aspects of career development. This year we are giving our delegates a unique opportunity to hone their communication skills with the help of professional science communicators.

Following the morning session, which will cover the wide ranging methods of communication available to researchers and demonstrate the power of confident presentation, delegates will then attend a more specialised afternoon master class. This will feature a panel of media professionals and academics who will give you the benefit of their experience and, ideally, help to make you feel more confident about getting your voice heard as a young scientist.

Previous participants of the Careers Day have appreciated the opportunity to network with each other whilst learning about innovative ways to enhance their career prospects. “It was good to meet people working in different fields, but who are in a similar situation and thinking about their future careers”, said Zoe Self (Royal Veterinary College, UK).

Science with impact - Biodiversity matters: Here, there and everywhere

Date: Sunday 3 July 2016 (17:00-19:00)


Dr George Littlejohn (University of Exeter, UK) and Ms Sarah Blackford (Head of Education & Public Affairs, SEB)


Dr Maureen Berg (University of Brighton and Biodiversity Action Plan, UK), Dr Steven Cooke (Carleton College, Ottawa & Director, Collaboration for Environmental Evidence, Canada) & Dr Sandra Knapp (Plant Sciences Division, Natural History Museum)

Never have so many species been eliminated from the planet at such a rate as we are witnessing in our lifetime. Not since the dinosaurs and their fellow inhabitants were wiped out by an outside force have animals, plants and their environments been destroyed on such a grand scale. The difference now is that it’s an internal force which is causing the devastation and reducing biodiversity to the limits of its ability to sustain established ecological niches and food chains. It is us who are polluting habitats, over-farming the earth and sea, using up resources, raping and pillaging the planet.

So, what are we doing to help redress the damage, to conserve, protect and find ways to improve things at the local and global levels?  Our annual Science with Impact event provides a platform for discussion around these crucial scientific and societal issues. Join us to hear about some of the science, practicalities and policies which aim to gather evidence, propose solutions and influence policy makers on this life-determining issue. During this lively two-hour session, our speakers will catalyse discussion and provide a forum for questions and debate.

Diversity Dinner (formerly Women in Science)

Date: Tuesday 5 July 2016 (19:30 - 22:00)
Location: The Old Ship Hotel, King's Road, Brighton, BN1 1NR
Price: SEB Members (Early career/students - £25, Full members - £35), Non Members - £40. Prices include drink on arrival, 3 course meal with wine.


Dr Teresa Valencak and Dr Mary Williams (SEB+ Education Committee)

Keynote speaker: 

'Diversity, inclusion and mismatch' - Prof David Asai (Senior Director in Science Education, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, USA)

Formerly the SEB’s hugely popular ‘Women in Science’ dinner, the brand new ‘Diversity Dinner’ aims to continue to provide a unique networking event for our delegates around a topical equality and diversity issue. This year we will hear from Prof David Asai, Senior Director in Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). Before joining HHMI, David was Department Chair and Professor of Cell Biology at Purdue University and Harvey Mudd College. More recently, his research interests have focused on strategies to help students from diverse backgrounds achieve success.

The Diversity Dinner will follow the same format as in previous years to ensure that our guests have lots of opportunity for discussion during the evening. Following a brief introduction and welcome, we will sit down for the starter and main course, after which David will present his talk with the aim of catalysing dialogue and debate, swapping stories, experiences and sharing information. Dessert and coffee will follow allowing the chance to digest and assimilate the presentation content before the most important part of the evening, the opportunity for open question and answer/ debate and discussion. We look forward to welcoming our delegates to this lively and informative event.

Enhancing biology education

Date: Monday 4 July 2016


Prof Graham Scott (University of Hull, UK), Dr Katherine Hubbard (University of Cambridge, UK), Dr David Smith (Sheffield Hallam University, UK) & Dr Anne Tierney (Edinburgh Napier University, UK)


Dr David Asai (Senior Director in Science Education, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, USA), Dr Mark Clements (Principle Lecturer, University of Westminster, UK) & Dr Sue Whittle (University of Leeds, UK) & Dr Mary Williams (Features Editor of Plant Cell, ASPB)

Science education is rapidly evolving, the student body is more diverse than ever before, the roles of educators are changing and advances in technology are shifting concepts of teaching, learning and the nature of the classroom itself. Increasingly education is seen as a partnership and an active process rather than as the transmission of knowledge from expert to novice. As biologists we have an essential role in the discovery and dissemination of our science, but increasingly we have an opportunity to move away from the traditional didactic model and to become part of a wider community of learning involving scientists, educators, students and the scientifically literate public. By sharing and co-creating new knowledge we are able to equip the next generation of scientists with the knowledge and skills they will need in the face of a future we may not yet recognise.

Through spoken papers, discussions and posters themed around Diversity and Inclusivity in University Teaching and around Innovation and Enhancement in Biology Education we bring together those who excel in biology education or the scholarship of teaching and learning to discuss contemporary issues and practice. These sessions will have a practical focus considering the diversity of students and their needs and the diversity of educators and their practice. Submissions of paper, poster and Pecha kucha abstracts are encouraged.  

Science communication toolkit 

Date:Tuesday 5 July 2016, AM


Dr Anne Osterrieder (Oxford Brookes University, UK) & Dr Jenny Sneddon (Liverpool John Moores University, UK)

From the highly creative through to the more conservative, this dynamic SEB+ session will expose delegates to a range of communication styles and formats to help them present their research most effectively. You will discover how to convert your data into engaging visual formats, adapt your research into inspiring teaching tools, produce a podcast, write a winning grant proposal and increase your chances of getting your paper published. In addition to a panel of speakers, we are inviting delegates to submit abstracts demonstrating examples of their own creative communication, some of which will be selected for showcasing in Pecha Kucha talks during the session.

Meet the young academics 

Date: Tuesday 5 July (12:50-13:30)
- Ms Sarah Blackford (Head of Education & Public Affairs, SEB)

This lunchtime Q&A session will feature a panel of SEB’s young academic leaders, who will give PhD students and early career researchers a rare chance to hear about what it takes, nowadays, to secure a permanent academic post. After the success of a similar session last year, when we heard from more established professors, SEB+ aims to provide the perspective of a more recent generation, who are perhaps experiencing different challenges from their predecessors. After a brief introduction from each of the panel members, who will represent our sections’ interests of plant, animal, cell and education, we will open the floor to questions and discussion. Bring your lunch and join us for what we expect to be a lively and enlightening session.