New Psychology Lecturer to get on her soapbox for science

A new member of staff from Swansea University’s College of Human and Health Science is set to share her research when the Soapbox Science event returns to Swansea Bay’s 360 Café on 6th June 2015.

Dr Laura Wilkinson, who joined the Department of Psychology in April 2015, became involved when Dr Michelle Lee, Deputy Head of the department and one of the organisers of Soapbox Science’s Swansea Event suggested that she should apply to be a speaker.

The event, which invites women at who are at the forefront of science and technology to talk about their research, aims to raise the profile of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects.

Laura said: “My talk is all about ‘Why we always have room for dessert’. I think we have all had the experience of finishing our main meal, feeling full and finished but then the dessert menu comes out! I will be talking about the science behind this experience; an effect called sensory specific satiety and the related variety effect. These phenomenon describe how, and potentially why, being faced with a variety of foods with different sensory characteristics tends to lead to the consumption of more food.

“I hope to get people thinking about how science doesn’t just happen in a lab but is happening around us all the time – specifically every time we eat! I am also committed to changing people’s perception of what a scientist looks like – not a stereotype who looks like Albert Einstein! Hopefully people will have a fun day out and enjoy the atmosphere – filled with science related props.”

Laura will feature alongside female scientists from Welsh Universities including several others from Swansea University.

She said: “I am really excited to hear the other speakers' talks, in particular Super Yeast Super Yeast! – Beer, Bread and Better Health by Miss Jessica Fletcher from Bangor University, Are snails intelligent? by Dr Sarah Dalesman from Aberystwyth University and Poisons, toxins, danger by Dr Anna Seager from Swansea University’s College of Medicine.”

“When I was selected to be a speaker at the Swansea event I was absolutely ecstatic. It is an absolutely wonderful way to start my time as a Lecturer here at Swansea.” Laura added.

Laura will be tweeting and blogging in the run up to the event.  You can find her first blog post here: http://soapboxscience.org/?p=1735