Issue 13


Welcome to the thirteenth issue of Science in School

Health and disease are themes that run through this issue of Science in School. In our feature article, Alan Leshner describes his varied career, including his involvement in a major campaign to show that schizophrenia is a brain disease and not a result of environment. In contrast to this concern with the public awareness of mental illness, Sabine Hentze deals with illness on a personal scale – counselling patients and families affected by genetic diseases.

Cutting-edge science

The CoRoT satellite: the search for Earth-like planets

Malcolm Fridlund from the European Space Agency (ESA) describes the search for extra-solar planets and explains how they can help us to understand the origin of life on Earth.

The intracellular environment: not so muddy waters

Giuseppe Zaccai from the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble, France, describes how he and his co-workers have uncovered a way to explore water dynamics in the cell interior using neutron scattering and isotope labelling.

Winning an Oscar in immunology

Have you ever wondered what it is that scientists get so excited about? Ana de Barros from the Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon, Portugal, shares with us the excitement of researching the immune system.

Event reports

Science on Stage: heading for a country near you

How better to inspire thousands of schoolchildren across Europe than by motivating and educating their teachers? As Eleanor Hayes explains, that is the idea behind Science on Stage – a network of local, national and international events for teachers.

Particle physics close up: CERN high-school teachers programme

Every year, CERN invites a group of high-school teachers to Geneva, Switzerland, to learn about particle physics – and how to teach it at school.

Discoveries in Paris: the European Union Contest for Young Scientists

On 11-16 September 2009, the annual European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS) took place in Paris, France. Marlene Rau, a member of this year’s jury, reports.

Resources on the web

Education resources for the International Year of Astronomy

This year is the International Year of Astronomy. To celebrate, Chris Starr and Richard Harwood suggest some useful websites and other resources to inspire your astronomy teaching.


Classic Chemistry Demonstrations: One Hundred Tried and Tested Experiments, By Ted Lister

The vast majority of chemists with whom I come into contact recall that the first experiences that excited them about chemistry were either seeing or doing practical work.

Why is science important? website, By Alom Shaha

Molecules of Murder: Criminal Molecules and Classic Cases, By John Emsley

Molecules of Murder: Criminal Molecules and Classic Cases is a highly readable book that is a must-read for those interested in crime or popular science. It follows on from author John Emsley’s earlier book: Elements of Murder: Criminal Molecules and Classic Cases.

Science education projects

The Bio Academy

French biology teacher Jean-Yves Guichot explains his project to link secondary-school students with molecular biology researchers.

Science topics

The first light in the Universe

Ana Lopes and Henri Boffin take us on a trip back in time – probing the history of the Universe.

Getting a grip on genetic diseases

Sabine Hentze and Martina Muckenthaler tell Lucy Patterson about their work – detecting genetic diseases and counselling potentially affected patients.

Folic acid: why school students need to know about it

Eleanor Hayes, Holger Maul and Nele Freerksen investigate why folic acid is an essential component of your students’ diet – now and for a future healthy family.

Scientist profiles

Alan Leshner: at the interface of science and society

Dr Alan Leshner, Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Executive Publisher of the renowned Science magazine, tells Marlene Rau and Sonia Furtado about his varied career and shares his views on science education issues.

Virtual reality: the Haptic Cow

With the help of former vet, Sarah Baillie, Vienna Leigh takes us on a virtual reality trip – deep into a cow’s insides!

Teacher profiles

A star-struck teacher in Italy

Research offers exciting and challenging job opportunities, but sometimes the price to pay in terms of personal sacrifice is very high. Claudia Mignone interviews a young astronomer who found satisfaction in the classroom – teaching mathematics.

Teaching activities

The drama of science

Do you enjoy the drama of science? The colour, the smells, the intricacies? Why not follow science teacher Bernhard Sturm’s suggestions: let your students bring yet more drama into the classroom by (re-)enacting science, to help them visualise and remember the lesson.

The latex motor

Can you imagine building a motor from latex gloves? Physics teachers Ludwig Eidenberger and Harald Gollner, and their students Florian Altendorfer and Christoph Eidenberger, show how, exploiting the reversible thermodynamic processes of thin layers of latex.

Looking for antioxidant food

We’ve all heard that an antioxidant-rich diet is healthy. Together with his students, Gianluca Farusi compared the antioxidant levels in a range of foods and drinks.


Published and funded by EIROforum