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Black Scientists: Past, Present and Future

Published on 27 Dec 2020 / In Education

Science should be for everyone, but not everyone gets the representation that they deserve. What does that mean for society?
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We're very proud to work with the multi-talented Alex Lathbridge to bring you this timely discussion for Black History Month about how lack of diversity has affected everything from AI to genetics, our experts will show how researchers are combating years of bias in the most-cutting edge research.

On the panel are:

Lisa Kennedy is an Assistant Curator at the Science Museum. She recently spoke at the Museum of London's '10 Years of the London, Sugar and Slavery gallery: Reflections and Responses', proposing how the subject of history (and museums specifically) can engage with young people.

Dr Segun Fatumo is currently a senior scientist at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (Uganda Research unit). His research largely focuses on genetic basis of cardio-metabolic diseases in black Africans and presently on trans-generational genomic impact of post-traumatic stress disorder in Rwanda. Prior to his current position, he held postdoctoral research positions at the University of Georgia in the United States, Wellcome Sanger Institute and University of Cambridge in the UK. Outside the lab, Segun is an inspiration speaker and author. In his recent book “Diamonds on the Streets”, he narrated how he was born in sickness and grew up on the streets hawking all manner of things in Lagos. He shared a story that relegates limitations and propels anger for success. Dr Fatumo is a co-founder and the executive director of BOAS Foundation – A charity organisation that is dedicated to empowering street hawkers through financial support, education and training. His vision is to transform every black street child into a great scientist, innovator, entrepreneur and world changer

Riham Satti is a TEDx speaker, multi-award winning business leader, and entrepreneur. Recognised by Forbes as ‘Female Founder Taking the UK by Storm’. Riham’s main interests lie in leveraging technology to unleash human potential and human intelligence. She co-founded MeVitae in 2014 and now involved in several women in tech initiatives; founder of Linkedin’s Women in Tech group and director at TechTonic Women. Riham holds two postgraduate degrees - Clinical Neuroscience from the University of Oxford and a Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering from Imperial College London. Her years of academic research includes publications in computational neuroscience, and thesis into the modelling and organisation of the human connectome.

The chair for this event Alex Lathbridge, is a Doctoral Researcher in Biochemistry at the University of Bath. His research focuses on how advanced prediction algorithms & protein engineering can be used develop potential new therapies to target certain types of cancer.

Outside of the lab, he's one of the UK's leading black nerdy comedians, creator of the wildly popular science meets popular culture podcast "Why Aren't You A Doctor Yet?", and is the co-founder of Minorities in STEM - a UK network for Black, Asian and ethnic minority people working or studying in science, tech, engineering and mathematics. On screen, you might have seen him explaining data security for Tomorrow's World, or showing how sex toys can be hacked on BBC Three, or on Inside Science or the BBC World Service. Alex has appeared on the CHRISTMAS LECTURES, where he had his voice probed by Professor Sophie Scott in their 2017 series "The Language of Life".

This panel discussion was filmed in the Ri on 8 October 2018.

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Alessandro Mecca, Ashok Bommisetti, avraham chein, bestape, Elizabeth Greasley, Greg Nagel, Lester Su, Rebecca Pan, Robert D Finfrock and Will Knott.

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