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The following are the Biology in the Real World talks that have taken place at the Association for Science Education's Annual Conference:


In 2018, the talks for Biology in the Real World theme was Separating fact from fiction:


In 2017, the talks focused on Biology around the world:

  • Fertility and the future of IVF (Dr Sophie Clarke, Imperial College London)
  • Food security (Professor Peter Gregory, University of Reading)
  • Influenza: discoveries and controversies (Professor Wendy Barclay, Imperial College London)
  • Games of thrones: conflict and cooperation from fish to finance (Dr Rupert Marshall, Aberystwyth University)
  • Making sense of stress in the wild (Dr Kimberley Bennett, Abertay University)
  • New horizons in stem cell research (Dr Julie Holder, Roslin Cell Sciences)
  • Plant disease: the human story (Professor Gary Foster, University of Bristol)
  • Biodiversity and tropical agriculture (Dr Ed Turner, University of Cambridge)


In 2016, the talks focused on Biology from the inside:

  • 10% human: the impact of microbial partners on animal life (Professor Greg Hurst, University of Liverpool)
  • Biofilms: greater than the sum of their parts (Professor Jo Verran, Manchester Metropolitan University)
  • Britain's plant health scientists (Dr Charles Lane, Fera Science)
  • Hormones, homeostasis and health (Professor Saffron Whitehead, Society for Endocrinology)
  • Personalised medicines (Dr Virginia Acha, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry & British Pharmacological Society)
  • The physiological responses to physical activity (Dr Gladys Onambele-Pearson, Manchester Metropolitan University)


In 2015, the talks focused on A voyage of discovery:

  • Osteoporosis: rhe final frontier (Dr Adrian Moore, University College Birmingham)
  • Growing cells in a new dimension (Professor Stefan Przyborski, Durham University)
  • Space flight: a model of human ageing (Professor Stephen Harridge, King’s College London)
  • Life on Mars: the past and the possibilities (Dr Louisa Preston, University of Cambridge)
  • Beloved barnacles: learning from Darwin’s collections (Miranda Lowe, Natural History Museum)
  • Life in town: adapting to city life (Linda Birkin, University of Sussex)
  • Wandering seabirds (Professor Tim Guilford, Oxford University)


In 2014, the talks focused on Powering life:

  • Mighty mitochondria (Dr Daniel Tennant, University of Birmingham)
  • Waste into energy (Dr Angela Murray, University of Birmingham)
  • Metabolism and energy balance (Professor Julian Hamilton, University of Bristol)
  • Natural selection as the power house of diversity: adaptation of form and behaviour to the environment (Dr Susannah KS Thorpe, University of Birmingham)
  • Life without light (Dr Rich Boden, Plymouth University)
  • Drug development: the unexpected role of plants (Dr Alison Foster, University of Oxford)
  • Plants and pressure (Dr Jeremy Prichard, University of Birmingham)


In 2013, the talks focused on Brilliant breakthroughs:

  • Brewing-up the technologies of tomorrow with synthetic biology (Tom Ellis, Imperial College, London)
  • Eye research (Russell Foster, University of Oxford)
  • Tuberculosis (Helen McShane, University of Oxford)
  • Cannabis and epilepsy (Ben Whalley, University of Reading)
  • Transforming photosynthesis: frontier biology for a changing world (Colin Osbourne, University of Sheffield)
  • Paris japonica and the discovery of the largest genome (Mike Fay, Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew)
  • Astrobiology: the hunt for alien life (Lewis Dartnell, UCL)
  • Super stable isotopes (Andrew Robertson, University of Exeter)


In 2012, in recognition of the Olympics taking place in the UK, the series of talks focused on A sporting chance:

  • Drugs in sport (Professor David Mottram, Liverpool John Moores University)
  • The systems physiology of exercise (Professor Graham Kemp, University of Liverpool)
  • Fighting fit: how exercise affects your immunity and susceptibility to infection (Professor Michael Gleeson, Loughborough University)
  • The five rings to success (Dr Valerie Gladwell, University of Essex)
  • The race to reproduce (Dr Rob Thomas, Cardiff University)
  • The original Olympic pool: succeeding in extreme conditions (Professor Geoff Boxshall, Natural History Museum)
  • Pressure in the organism Olympics (Dr Jeremy Pritchard, University of Birmingham)