In 2012, David Cameron announced the 100,000 Genomes Project. I was asked to take up a role part time as Head of Engagement.
Many people said the project was impossible but on December 5th 2018, Genomics England sequenced the 100,000th genome. Continue reading 100,000 Genomes Project
What about the garden this year? It was the strangest of weather.
We had the Beast from the East (a snowstorm) in March. Around us, there are many open fields interspersed with hidden small roads. Strong Winds from the East blew the modest layer of snow off the fields, dumping it in the lanes in huge grubby piles. We were completely cut off for 2 days and the snow drifts in the garden persisted for nearly 2 weeks. It delayed Spring, which then came and went in a couple of weeks to be followed by scorching drought for months. Continue reading September Garden Update
You know how Dr. Who always starts with something weird happening? Like unexpected plagues of spiders or people behaving strangely? I’m expecting Jodie Whittaker, the fab new doctor, to appear at any moment now because, in my life, time has been collapsing. For how else to explain that it is suddenly November, with jingle bells and sleighs appearing in every shop front? It was only May last time I looked.
Continue reading Berlin, Beijing, Brussels and Beyond
What a great day! I was very touched and honoured to receive a Doctor of Science honoris causa of St George’s Hospital Medical School – an honorary degree which, in case you were beginning to worry, doesn’t give me licence to do proper doctoring, dispense medicines etc. Phew, said my sister, whom I subjected to much pretend doctoring as a child. As you can see, dressing up acquired a whole new meaning as I got a very splendid gown plus a Harry Potter style sorting hat complete with stylish tassel.
Continue reading Tasseled Hats and Fancy Gowns
Sometimes I have weeks which are memorable on several counts. Well, here’s a corker. I found myself making a film about Alzheimer’s with some extraordinary scientists, had a day of fishy surprises in Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture, and finally found myself dancing with Darcey – yes, her Strictly Dameship herself – on stage, in front of a couple of hundred people.
Continue reading Fish, Brains and Dancing
I’m surrounded by seed and plant catalogues because this is the time of year when I reflect on what worked and what didn’t in the garden and decide what to grow next year. I have to start by confessing that I don’t learn. In fact, I am remarkably similar to the pheasant I spotted taking seed from the feeder today. Every time he pecked it, it swung back and hit him. But he still staggered forward for another peck, undeterred. Why don’t I learn for instance that if you plant 20 courgette plants, you will get 20 tons of courgettes? And I don’t mean those cute little ones either. The cuties hide under leaves and morph overnight into monster marrows that are no good to anyone except as assault weapons. How many did I plant this year? Oh yes, dear reader, 20. And boy did they do well. Can I report my faves? Bianca di Trieste (a little pale one), Romanesco (striped and ribbed) and Soleil (yellow). You can get all of them as seeds from Sarah Raven. I also like Nero di Milano which is a very deep and shiny dark green.
Continue reading January Garden Journal
Milan was the first stop in a manic month of travel. I was hosting Live@ERS, a daily TV feed at the European Respiratory Society international congress.
Continue reading September: my manic month
I’ve spent some time last month in Kazakhstan hosting two conferences in the Future Energy Forum series, one on the role of cities and the other on the role of policy. A standout speaker was Professor Mohan Munasinghe, joint winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace with Al Gore.
Continue reading Future Energy Forum, Astana
We are only 10 days into the month of August and so far I have been very busy. Here are three completely contrasting things I have been doing so far:
Here’s a commentary from me, just published in Nature . Continue reading August: A month of rest for most, but not me!
Just before Easter, I found myself in Paris making a series of daily films for CNN for the L’Oreal UNESCO For Women in Science programme, now its 18th year.
Continue reading For Women in Science 2016