|Topic:||hands-on activities, workshops, Sustainable and Green Chemistry, chemistry education||Audience:||students, professional chemists, general public, educators, teachers, post graduate students, Secondary school students|
Senior Curator, University of Oxford Botanic Garden
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Organizations:University of Oxford Botanic Garden
IYC Interests:Increase the public appreciation and understanding of chemistry
Encourage interest of young people in chemistry
Generate enthusiasm for the creative future of chemistry
Celebrate the role of women in chemistry
I worked as a research chemist in the pharmaceutical industry for over 10 years before deciding to change career to horticulture. Whilst working as a glasshouse horticulturalist I planned a new medicinal plants area that is in the Walled Garden area of the Botanic Garden. I have written a short book(let) to go with the new area explaining the stories behing the medicinal plants including the chemical structures of the drugs that derive from the plants.
The Botanic Garden is a fantastic place to engage the public with the natural world including the chemistry that occurs in the plants. I have led several guided tours about the chemistry in plants - colour, scent, taste as well as medicinal properties. There has been overwhelming interest in these with many interesting questions being asked by the public.
IYC is a great opportunity to use gardens and other visitor attractions to get a postive message out about chemistry and what it does for us.
As senior curator, my role is to coordinate and plan the public education programme, to build strong links with University science departments relevant to plants and horticulture and to create some modern interpretation of our plant collections.