Last night (8 Sept) at the Braggs lecture theatre, 10 brilliant University of Adelaide PhD students presented, in 3 minutes, a summary of their thesis work. The 3 minute thesis (3MT) competition is about scientific communication and we heard about bacteria on the plaque of teeth from Viking skulls, wearable medical device technology, gender considerations in response to global warming in under-developed countries, mapping dragonfly neurons to develop new ultra-responsive tracking devices, the identification of vortices and other matter in atoms that account for mass, how psychedelic drugs fit into the naturalist view of being, addressing the impact of a poorly regulated Chinese construction industry on local and global well-being, understanding the difference between old and young brain cells to develop more appropriate drugs for motor neurone disease, and developing economic solutions to poverty in land-locked countries.
Then, you throw in the middle of these presentations, Clare McGuiness’s brilliant and flawless 3 minute talk on the psychology of decision making regarding preventative health screening, with particular reference to peoples use of the faecal occult blood test (FOBT). Students were permitted one slide, and Clare bravely decided to have a photo of a used FOBT device on the massive screen in front of us. “Yes, that’s right, it’s poo” to quote Clare. The crowd’s response was worthy of measuring for her PhD, but little did they know it was only chocolate!.
Congratulations to Clare who was one of 10 finalists selected from more than 200 students (See photo courtesy of Uni of Adelaide). Clare is receiving a PhD top-up scholarship from the FFCMH and the CSIRO. She is in her second year of her PhD in Psychology and her Supervisors are Professor Deb Turnbull (UoA), Professor Carlene Wilson (FCIC) and Dr Ian Zajac (CSIRO).
If you have never been to a 3MT competition, I would highly recommend booking in early for next year. The talent of these young researchers is phenomenal and being there could only make one feel proud of being part of this great University of ours.