Across the Pond webinar: Scary Science

Join us for the first public event in a new webinar series called "Across the Pond", bringing together two Fulbright Scholars from either side of the Atlantic to discuss the intersection of their interests. Our transatlantic conversations address global challenges of all natures, and are a celebration of the civic engagement at the heart of the Commission's work.

Our first event, Scary Science: Responsible Public Engagement within Scientific Research, will explore the communication and ethical responsibilities of researchers working on the cutting edges of their fields. Our event speakers, Thomas Baker and Tony Sorial, both work in fields that generate "scary" headlines: from the ever-increasing power sophistication of computers, to the editing of the human genome.

How should researchers approach intimidating topics in science that may otherwise be sensationalised or misunderstood in popular culture? How should we discuss complex science accurately to the world at large? How can we address ethical responsibilities clearly and succinctly, so as to reassure the researcher's various publics? Join the discussion to hear from our scholars on these questions and more.

Date: Tuesday 29 June 

Time: 5:00 PM (UK time)

Register here for this event


Thomas Baker is a condensed matter theorist currently a Fulbright U.S. Scholar hosted by the University of York in the United Kingdom. Dr. Baker graduated from the California State University, Long Beach where was supported on the Graduate Research Fellowship while working on superconducting—magnetic proximity systems, including the solution of a 200 year old problem known as the bead on a hoop. Dr. Baker earned his doctoral degree from the University of California, Irvine where we worked on aspects of simulations of quantum physics for materials with renormalization group. having been supported by the Pat Beckman Memorial Scholar through the ARCS Foundation. As the prized postdoctoral fellow at the Université de Sherbrooke in Québec, Canada, Dr. Baker published on a variety of topics in quantum computing. In his free time, Thomas has been exploring the history of York and getting back to swimming as the pandemic restrictions lift.

Tony Sorial is an academic orthopaedic surgeon. He is currently the Royal College of Surgeons of England Frances and Augustus Newman Fulbright UK scholar and a Wellcome Trust research fellow in the laboratory of Professor Farshid Guilak, Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, USA. He completed his medical degree and a Masters degree in regenerative medicine at the University of Manchester, UK. In 2016-17 he moved to Newcastle University to work in osteoarthritis genetics and completed post-graduate diplomas in clinical research/surgery. He has split his time in Newcastle between surgical training and laboratory science. In 2018 he was awarded the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh-Cutner fellowship to spend 12 months full-time in the genetics laboratory of Professor John Loughlin to develop a project for his PhD, which he commenced in August 2020. His current research builds collaborations between Newcastle and St Louis, it is based around using human cells and cell lines to understand arthritis with a view to developing new treatments. His work routinely uses CRISPR technology. In his free time, Tony has been exploring St Louis with his partner and young son, Helen and Isaac.

Across the Pond is a new initiative from the US-UK Fulbright Commission presenting transatlantic conversations between scholars, covering a wide range of topics that showcase the range of interests of this year’s cohort of Fulbright Scholars. Keep an eye out for future events in the series running through the summer and early autumn.