On the 20th May 2013, the 2nd Francis Crick Institute Postdoc Retreat took place at the British Library with talks linked to the theme of 'Science and Society'. This event, organised by postdocs for postdocs, provided the opportunity for attendees to meet other postdocs from the different partners of the Francis Crick Institute, build networks and facilitate circulation of ideas and knowledge. The retreat encouraged debate about science and society, to make delegates more aware of how basic science and research can play a role in wider society.
Throughout the day we had a broad range of speakers. Roly Keating, from the British Library, gave the opening remarks welcoming everyone, as the retreat marked the beginning of the partnership between the British Library and the Crick, who will be neighbours.
Sir Paul Nurse provided us with the vision of the Crick, as one of the leading centres of biomedical research in the world which will play an important role in generating excitement and interest in science through outreach and engagement with the public. Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, Professor of Physiology and President and Vice-Chancellor of Manchester University, then gave an inspiring talk of her experiences, reminding us that science is a passion and is made up of encounters, choices and commitment.
Dr. Julian Huppert, a Liberal Democrat MP who champions the cause of science and evidence-based policies in Parliament reassured the delegates that there are people representing science at the national level. Dr. Elizabeth Murchison, Cancer Genetics and Genomics at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, opened the afternoon session with her incredible work on the Tasmanian Devil, followed by Dr. Davide Danovi from Cell Phenotyping Unit at King's College London, who linked together business and academic skills. To close the session, Mark Henderson, Head of Communications at the Wellcome Trust reminded us how important it is to keep in touch with the people who are supporting us.
Thanks go to the 170 post-docs who attended the retreat for their participation and enthusiasm during the talks and poster sessions.Following the evening poster session, the attendees then had the opportunity to network, socialise and pursue conversations about science, life and society!