The Halley Research Community is named after the Old Pauline scientist, Edmond Halley.
Science is done by a community. The community and resources at St Paul’s are exciting, with a number of opportunities for students in each discipline and many that cut across the scientific disciplines and traditional boundaries. The Halley Research Community at St Paul’s draws on these opportunities to challenge traditional boundaries and generate student driven research projects.
Our meetings are often conducted as research group discussions. These are led by our in-house student experts in: nanostructural colour; failure modes in 3D printed materials; micro-fibre analysis; and other areas in which our students are working. We also run training sessions on our electron microscope and the atomic force microscope. Finally we occasionally organise external speakers, or watch important videos. We have watched Professor Jim Alkalili’s quantum biology show and followed that with discussion, and read academic research papers on the D-Wave, a quantum computer that may contribute to the development of artificial intelligence. The members also organise whole school events such as the annual Christmas Science Quiz, hosted in the Atrium, when teams of students compete to answer as many questions from across the sciences as they can.
The annual Halley Lecture this year is an exciting opportunity for our Eighth Formers to hear from an entrepreneur and scientist working on structural colour. Our speaker, Professor Andrew Parker, has worked at Imperial College and the Natural History Museum and is currently commercialising some biomimetic technology based on butterfly wing structures. Professor Parker is a fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford University, and is developing new courses for the Saiid Business School. He also serves as science adviser to Prince Charles.
We have previously enjoyed talks from arguably the most influential scientist in the country, Sir Mark Walport, the government’s Chief Scientific Adviser; Sir Christopher Llewellyn Smith, Director of Energy Research, Oxford University, and former Provost of University College London and Director General of CERN; as well as other distinguished scientists and authors such as John Ellis of Higgs Boson fame; Steve Jones, author and geneticist; and Simon Singh who wrote Fermat’s Last Theorem and is an important advocate for critical thinking in society.
If you would like to work with one of our group leaders or develop your own research project, then please speak with one of the committee or with Dr Weller.