Doctoral Student at the Doctoral Training Centre
Rex Richards Building, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QU
I love learning about flocks of birds, schools of fish, colonies of ants, and so on, where a coherent and dynamic pattern emerges out of many interacting parts. I wonder where there are similarities between self-organisation on the scale of molecular interactions and human civilisation. I hope that Synthetic Biology, and the attempt to re-create these kinds of systems from the bottom-up, will teach us how self-organisation works in nature, while also creating new technologies.
I am interested in the culture of science, and the way it is perceived, communicated and passed on. In 2013, I co-created Strange Nature, a science-writing competition for Australian high-school students. We were inspired by a quote from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, "Of what a strange nature is knowledge, it clings to the mind like a lichen on the rock", and the fact that a nineteen-year-old could ignite the imagination of scientists and artists for generations.
More recently I've been annually hosting public debates at the Oxfordshire Science Festival focusing on issues of genome editing and genome synthesis.