Issue 19


Welcome to the nineteenth issue of Science in School

Life in space – scientists and lay people alike are intrigued by this possibility.

News from the EIROs

Rockets, genomes and particle accelerators

Science in School is published by EIROforum, a collaboration of research organisations. Eleanor Hayes, Editor-in-Chief of Science in School, reviews some of the latest news from the EIROforum members.

Cutting-edge science

Investigating the causes of schizophrenia

Laurence Reed and Jackie de Belleroche discuss schizophrenia – and how functional genomics could help to identify its causes.

Van Gogh’s darkening legacy

The brilliant yellows of van Gogh’s paintings are turning a nasty brown. Andrew Brown reveals how sophisticated X-ray techniques courtesy of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France, can explain why.

A planet from another galaxy

As though planets from outside our Solar System were not exciting enough, astronomers have recently discovered a planet orbiting a star from outside our galaxy Johny Setiawan reports.

Event reports

Science teachers take to the stage

Science recognises no national borders – and neither does Science on Stage, the network for European science teachers. Eleanor Hayes attended the international festival.


Life in the line of fire

All major X-ray and neutron facilities employ instrument scientists, who are experimental experts, liaison officers and researchers rolled into one. Andrew Wildes from the Institut Laue-Langevin explains how he juggles his daily tasks.


Exploring the Mystery of Matter: The ATLAS Experiment, By Kerry-Jane Lowery, Kenway Smith and Claudia Marcelloni

Exploring the Mystery of Matter: The ATLAS Experiment is an engaging and beautifully presented photo book that provides a captivating tour of the marvels of the large-scale particle detector experiments of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, the world’s largest particle physics laboratory.

Ask a Biologist website

The Ask a Biologist website is dedicated to answering questions on all aspects of biology. Although aimed primarily at school students of all ages, questions are accepted from anyone, whatever their age, including teachers.

2010-2011 State of the Wild: A Global Portrait, By the Wildlife Conservation Society

2010-2011 State of the Wild: A Global Portrait describes the present state of wildlife and wild places, detailing developments in conservation and examining environmental issues around the world.

Science education projects

Building a space habitat in the classroom

What does it take to live on the Moon or even Mars? Erin Tranfield suggests an interdisciplinary teaching activity to get your students thinking about this – and learning a lot of science along the way.

Moja Island: learning about renewable energy sources

Renewable energy is not only important in the developed world; in developing countries, it may be a prerequisite to overcoming poverty. Marlene Rau introduces a teaching activity from Practical Action.

Science topics

Neutrinos: an introduction

What do continental drift, nuclear power stations and supernovae have in common? Neutrinos, as Susana Cebrián explains.

What is chemiluminescence?

Glowing jellyfish, flickering fireflies, fun glow sticks; Emma Welsh introduces the beautiful and mysterious world of chemiluminescence.

Teacher profiles

Schoolhouse scientists

Sarah Stanley explains how Becky Parker gets her students involved in particle physics at CERN. Why not get your students to join in too?

Teaching activities

The DNA detective game

With the help of a detective game, Kenneth Wallace-Müller from the Gene Jury team introduces the use of DNA in forensics and the ethical questions involved.

Amber: an introduction to organic chemistry

Did you know that the electron and electricity are named after amber, the ‘gold’ of the Baltic Sea? Bernhard Sturm’s teaching unit based on this fossilised resin introduces not only conductivity but also many other characteristics of solid organic compounds.