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The science of viruses and making science viral

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  • UserStephen Curry, Imperial
  • ClockTuesday 24 January 2012, 19:00-22:00
  • HouseThe Maypole.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Andrew N Holding.

Viruses are pathogens — germs — that afflict all forms of life. All they are looking to do is to reproduce but in doing so can cause diseases that vary enormously in severity. How do they work and what can be done to stop them? My research focuses on one small class of viruses that includes foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), a pathogen that is well known in Britain thanks to the devastating outbreak in 2001. My talk will describe the approach that we take to understanding how FMDV works and how that might help us to tackle it in the future.

But I am also interested in how scientific knowledge disseminates out from laboratories to ‘infect’ the wider population, hopefully in most cases with curiosity about what scientists are up to. However, sometimes legitimate concerns are raised and I would like to explore how these might best be addressed.

Stephen Curry, a native of Northern Ireland, is a professor of structural biology at Imperial College London. That means he is interested in what biological molecules, such as proteins, look like and how they work. An active blogger, he has been writing about science (and making videos) at occamstypewriter.org/scurry for several years. He also takes a keen interest in scientific activism, most notably in supporting the Campaign for Libel Reform and as vice-chair of Science is Vital.

This talk is part of the Skeptics in the Pub series.

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