Vol 8. Issue 8 / March 10, 2008

A Beautiful Friendship

By Mika Ono

In what is turning out to be a beautiful friendship, The Scripps Research Institute's Science Outreach Program is partnering with San Diego's Reuben H. Fleet Science Center to help bring the latest scientific discoveries and approaches to the attention of the general public.

"We're thrilled at the opportunity to spread the word about what is going on in science," says Marisela Chevez, who runs the institute's Science Outreach Program. "We have had terrific feedback about some of the presentations by Scripps Research investigators."

"At the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, our goal is to reach a broad audience by offering a variety of educational programming," said Amanda Lincoln, the Fleet Science Center's education programs coordinator. "Partnering with Scripps and other local organizations enhances these programs by inspiring a deeper appreciation of science within the community."

Last week, as part of the museum's Senior Mondays Afternoon Scholars program, Scripps Research Associate Professor Floyd Romesberg addressed some 120 museum-goers, who filled the room to capacity. Romesberg discussed evolution and the challenges associated with developing novel antibiotics.

Audience members showed so much interest that Romeberg was still answering questions half an hour after his talk had ended.

"I enjoyed speaking to the group immensely," said Romesberg. "Not only was it a chance to share my enthusiasm about the research going on in my lab, it was also an opportunity to generate broader understanding about what it takes to do science and what goes into developing new therapies. People need to know why it's so important to continue funding scientific research."

Next Up: Biosciences Day

Next up on the Fleet museum's educational calendar is Biosciences Day—billed as "an extravaganza of hands-on bioscience activities and talks" for all ages—on Saturday, March 15. In addition to presentations by researchers from other institutions, the program includes:

  •  A talk, "From wound healing to cancer metastasis: Understanding cell motility," by James Lim, Ph.D. candidate at the Scripps Research Kellogg School. The talk will be held at 12:30 PM in the museum's lecture hall.

  • A demonstration involving green-glowing proteins by Corey Dambacher and Hunter Elliot, Ph.D. candidates at the Scripps Research Kellogg School of Science and Technology, who will show the importance of protein folding, which has been linked to health problems such as cardiac disease and Alzheimer's.  The presentation will be ongoing throughout the day in the museum's second floor viewspace.

Dambacher, who also participated in the Fleet's first Biosciences Day last year, said, "My goal is to bring what it is that we do everyday here at Scripps to the general public—especially the kids. I feel we need more people excited about becoming scientists and about answering critical questions. After watching how the kids just light up at the end of the presentation and hearing them ask really interesting questions, I know the experience has an impact on their understanding of physiology and human disease, and they've learned something about what biomedical scientists are trying to accomplish."

Biosciences Day is included with admission to the museum. For more information, see Weekend Programs at the Fleet.

Other Scripps Research scientists who have participated in Fleet museum events include: Professor Ian Wilson, Research Associate Brian Paegel, and Ph.D. candidates Sarah Siegel and Gabe Lander. If you are a Scripps Research scientist interested in participating in public outreach lectures or presentations, please contact Marisela Chevez, x4-2171 or mchevez@scripps.ed.


Send comments to: mikaono[at]scripps.edu





Scripps Research investigator Floyd Romesberg speaks to a Fleet Science Center audience about evolution and the challenges associated with developing novel antibiotics.