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April 2013 Café Scientifique

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April 2013 Café Scientifique

Wednesday 24 April 2013, Horse and Trap, Mt Eden, 6.30pm

When the going gets tough, should the tough get creative?

Dr Siouxsie Wiles
HRC Hercus Fellow, Molecular Medicine and Pathology,
School of Medical Sciences, The University of Auckland

While the NZ government has certainly increased spending on scientific research, funding for healthcare research is still very limited, and funding decision-makers tend to back established scientists with large groups – the ‘silverbacks’ of the science world.  So what should younger scientists do in times like this? Should they give up on their careers or try new ways to fund their research? Microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles explains why she thinks scientists need to get creative!  Join Siouxsie to learn how crowdfunding and new forms of community engagement are becoming increasingly important in today's research environment.

Dr Siouxsie Wiles has made a career of combining her twin passions of bioluminescence (think glow worms and fireflies) and infectious diseases. She began her research career in medical microbiology in the UK, relocating to the University of Auckland in 2009 to take up a Sir Charles Hercus Fellowship from the Health Research Council of New Zealand.

Since arriving in New Zealand, Siouxsie has become a prominent science communicator, appearing as a regular science commentator on Radio NZ’s Nine to Noon programme, and as one of the eight scientists to front the Great NZ Science Project adverts on TV. She is also a blogger and podcaster and has teamed up with graphic artist Luke Harris to make a series of short animations about glowing creatures in nature and how scientists use bioluminescence. Her efforts saw her win the New Zealand Association of Scientist’s Science Communicator Award for 2012.