Minerva Scientifica – Does it hurt?

DNA gigles 22022016 Yerbury
Singers Julian Stocker and David Sheppard from electric voice theatre discuss DNA with Dr. Claire Sharpe – King’s College London

It’s a good question. Dr. Claire Sharpe took time out from her important work on kidney disease to talk with an eager group of children at Yerbury Primary School in Islington. Her career was inspired by  the story of Rosalind Franklin  – would it have hurt Franklin to know her work had been used to prove the structure of DNA without her knowledge? I can’t imagine other than that it would have hurt.. however,….

…… that wasn’t what this question was about  – it was prompted by the thought of people on dialysis machines, people that Dr. Sharpe is treating right now. They were intrigued to hear she had wanted to be an engineer at their age – but after reading about Franklin she wanted to work in medicine and to make sure that no-one ever stole her work!

They wanted to know about her favourite moment as a scientist – which turned out to be every time she discovers things that no-one else knows about yet… to be the first!  That moment of discovery is something all musicians understand – when you sing something for the first time, or find or write music that no-one has heard before – though it’s effects are perhaps different, they are connected. Both require dedication, creativity and commitment to find that rare moment of excitement and pass it on for everyone to share.

Here we all were, singers and scientists, children and teachers, singing DNA and evolution – experiencing “The Franklin Effect”.

Can it really be true that our children could end up learning science without music? For all of us today the effects of music combined with the work of female scientists, and the creativity and learning that flowed freely between them – scientific and musical – was real and tangible.

Should EBACC get its way, well……  that would hurtJulian Keeps Calm - Yerbury 22022016

Come and hear more science and music on March 18th at 11am, Arts & Media School Islington, Turle Road, Islington, London N4 3LS

Free tickets on Eventbrite


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