The British Government has an official presence for the first time at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Denver, Colorado, 13 to 18 February 2003. However, this is by no means the first British presence at AAAS. As well as the scientific experts from Britain who are presenting papers, a group of British high school students is also attending the meeting. The students are giving up their vacation to hear direct from the world's leading scientists about the latest developments and discoveries.
The 53 British students – 42 from Oundle School and 11 from nearby Stamford – and 12 staff are interested in topics as diverse as cloning, human genetics, space exploration and nano-technology. Many of the students are planning undergraduate study and careers in science.
This is the third trip to the AAAS conference for one pupil. Oundle's Nick Fishwick, who hopes to study physics at Cambridge University, England, participated in previous school trips to the 2001 and 2002 AAAS annual meetings in San Francisco and Boston. He has also visited the CERN physics research centre in Geneva and the Russian Academy of Science in St Petersburg – the prizes in several science competitions he has won.
The AAAS trips have been organised by Oundle's Head of Science and Technology, Paul Clark, who has attended every conference since 1997. "This is an opportunity for our students to hear famous researchers from all over the world explaining their findings on leading-edge scientific topics," he said.
"There has been so much media speculation on things like cloning, the genome project and nano-technology that it will be good for the students to discover the facts, direct from the experts. The AAAS meeting is a giant candy store of science. It helps inspire our students will towards further study and careers in science, both in Britain and internationally."
Notes to Editors:
1. History of Oundle School Oundle School was founded in 1556 and has a strong scientific tradition. A former pupil of Oundle grammar school, Sir William Laxton rose to become Lord Mayor of London and Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers. The Company coat of arms and the school crest incorporate a camel to mark the ancient trade in exotic spices and other commodities in which the Grocers traded. At his death in 1556 Sir William left a bequest for the support of the school.
Oundle with over 1,060 pupils, is the UK's third largest independent boarding school.
2. Oundle School's scientific tradition Former pupils with a scientific pedigree include: Professor Richard Dawkins; Professor Robert Hinde, former Master of St John's College Cambridge, who was Dian Fossey's research supervisor and also supervised some of the researchers who subsequently worked at her camp; Dr Jo Gipps, former Director of the London Zoo and now Director of Bristol Zoo; and Andrew Anderson, who worked with Sir David Attenborough on the BBC TV series The Life of Birds and was nominated for an Emmy in the USA for "outstanding individual achievement in cinematography".
3. Nick Fishwick, a current Oundle student whose home is in Cambridge, and fellow Oundle student Roxanne Foulser-Piggott were selected as UK winners of a competition arranged by CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) and the European Space Agency in November 2001.
Nick was also the only winner from a Western country in a competition organised by the Russian Academy of Science in which he was awarded second prize in a glittering ceremony at the Anichkov Palace in St Petersburg in October 2002
4. For more information from the UK contact:
Mike Lennox or Michael Holland
Smye Holland Associates
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