St Peter's School
This year’s Science Society Christmas lecture took us through the perplexing past and the fascinating future of medical science.
The Biology Department opened proceedings with a history of medieval medicine, exploring the bizarre practice of trepanation, bloodletting, the use of plants and animals in curing ailments and the development of scientific thought in place of superstition.
The Chemistry staff then demonstrated how to manufacture antiseptic soap and common medicines such as aspirin and explained the equally restorative and explosive properties of Iodine.
The Physics team examined the use of sonar in medicine and, with the help of a state-of-the-art ultrasound machine, showed how sound can be used to tackle illnesses such as cancer. They also looked at how keyhole surgery had greatly reduced patient recovery times and the targeted delivery of radiotherapy.
All three sciences came together to conclude the lecture, looking to the future of medicine, with “nanobots” and CRISPR gene editing proving to be two particularly exciting means of confronting diseases, though the final message was that the ethical decisions regarding these techniques are ones that will be made in the near future, not only by the scientists, but by the general public too.
David Morris, Head of Science at St Peter’s, said: “I would like to thank our teachers and technicians for bringing this fun and informative lecture to life through their evident knowledge and passion for their subjects. The presentation was enjoyed both by our pupils and the public and we are already planning and looking forward to next year's event, which will focus on the elements.”