Workshops and Public Engagement

The GEL lab runs a variety of workshops and public engagement activities

Science Saturdays talk

Curious about how differences in our DNA impact how we think, feel and behave? Dr Emma Meaburn gave a lecture on this topic as part of Birkbeck’s School of Science ‘Science Saturdays’ series of free online talks. The talk is aimed at a general audience, is family friendly and available to watch here on Birkbeck’s YouTube channel.

‘Science Showcase’ week
A South London primary school ran a ‘Science Showcase’ week in May designed to introduce children to a variety of STEM careers. Dr Emma Meaburn spoke to ~150 year 6 pupils about her experiences as a scientist at Birkbeck, and led an interactive ‘genetics of taste’ experiment with them.

UK trauma Council: Guide to Epigenetic Research

What is epigenetics and how is it related to trauma, health and wellbeing? In 2021, Dr Emma Meaburn talked to the UK Trauma Council about epigenetics, its role in linking the environment to health outcomes, and how practitioners should approach the research. The videos can be found here, and here!

Events to celebrate 100 year anniversary of Rosalind Franklin’s birth

In 2020, the GEL lab hosted a series of events to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Rosalind Franklin’s birth. Rosalind Franklin was a pioneer in the field of genetics and is an alumni of Birkbeck. See here for more information on the events led by the GEL lab.

I’m a Scientist” activities

The GEL lab is participating in the I’m a Scientist ‘Subject Knowledge Zone’ during December. This activity is aimed at teachers, and is the form of a weekly online chat where you can log on and ask us about all things genetic. Please visit here to register for the event

Here are some examples of past and ongoing activities:

Science workshops in primary schools

The GEL lab team welcome opportunities to run science workshops in primary schools in London and the South East of England. For example we have recently run a workshop on ‘Evolution and DNA’ for Year 3 students, and helped Year 6 students extract their own DNA and build 3D models of a DNA helix. If you are a teacher of KS2, please enquire about our availability.

Ambassador for Women of the Future programme

Professor Angelica Ronald has been an ambassador for the Women of the Future programme since 2013. Each year she meets up to 100 female 6th form students to encourage them into STEM careers.

TILE blog

Dr Meaburn discusses how DNA research can help us understanding individual differences in academic achievement in her blog post for the TEACHING INNOVATION & LEARNING ENHANCEMENT network :

National Childbirth Trust

The GEL lab has contributed evidence-based writing for parents reading the National Childbirth Trust website, which receives over 6 million visits each year. Read more here

Royal Society Rosalind Franklin STEM Ambassadors Workshop

Dr Meaburn was a speaker and contributor to the Royal Society Rosalind Franklin STEM Ambassadors Workshop ( This is an ongoing effort that is focused on encouraging and supporting girls from under represented backgrounds succeed in STEM careers.

Career evenings in secondary schools

Professor Ronald speaks at career evenings for secondary school pupils about careers in STEM subjects

I’m A Scientist!

Dr Meaburn is a regular participant in “I’m a scientist, get me out of here’, where she chats online to school students and teachers about all things genetic.

Birkbeck Science week

As part of Birkbeck’s Science Week, Dr Meaburn’s blog post provides a sneak peek into what the average day looks like when you are a working scientist: