'Speed-date a scientist'

Posted on October 28, 2011

Dr. Stephen Meddows-Taylor and studentsSpeed dating is an organised matchmaking process to encourage people to meet a large number of new people. Its origins are credited to Rabbi Yaacov Deyo, originally as a way to help Jewish singles meet and marry. This concept was adapted to let students interact with professional scientists to gain insight about their disciplines. Small groups of students had 15 minutes to interact with each one of the four professional biotechnologists to find out all they want to know about this profession.

Dr. Muhammed Sayed and studentsThe first session was hosted by Dr. Stephen Meddows-Taylor, the laboratory manager at Netcells Cryogenics which is Africa's largest stem cell company and is involved in the processing and cryogenic storage of baby and adult stem cells. The next speaker was Dr. Muhammed Sayed, the business development manager for Technology Innovation Agency (TIA)-Gauteng.

Gareth Jones and students Gareth Jones works at the African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) where he is the main researcher on issues around the political economy of Biotechnology and Agriculture. Mr Jones, a social scientist, represented the ethics side of Biotechnology. The fourth speaker was Dr. Simon Thanyani. He has been appointed by DM Kisch Inc. as a candidate patent attorney in the life sciences field at the Pretoria office since May 2009

Dr. Simon Thanyani and studentsStudents rotated between the speakers and questioned them to find out exactly what a day in the life of a biotechnologist looks like. The participants also used the opportunity to network and gain insight about potential career paths in Biotechnology interact with their peers and the speakers during a finger lunch served as part of the event.

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