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Hywel has right chemistry to impress science kids

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Hywel has right chemistry to impress science kids

Sunday 13 June 2010

A Sheffield Hallam University academic is hoping to have the right chemistry to convince youngsters he has the X-Factor in a prestigious national competition.

Dr Hywel Jones from the Materials and Engineering Research Institute is taking part in 'I'm A Scientist, Get Me Out Of Here!', pitting his know-how against more than 40 leading academics in a bid to make science more accessible for youngsters.

And he says that much of the work he carries out has elements of hit shows such as Crime Scene Investigation, increasing his chances of being a hit with youngsters.

The competition, which runs throughout the week at, allows youngsters from around the country to ask questions about science.

And the children have the power to vote off scientists they do not like, leaving a winner to pocket a cash prize for research purposes.

Dr Jones, who made national headlines when he became the first scientist to identify and analyse dust found in Sheffield after the Icelandic volcano earlier this year, is fielding questions about chemistry during the competition.

He said: "Some of the work we do at MERI is forensic in nature; car crash investigations and failed components. We often see things we use every day featured on Crime Scene Investigation.

"This competition is a great way of making science more personable and accessible to encourage more youngsters to take it up as a career.

"It is certainly shedding its stuffy image and becoming a rewarding and diverse career."

Notes for editors

1. For more information about I Am A Scientist go to the website

2. The inaugural Universities Week is taking place from 14-20 June 2010, and aims to increase public awareness of the wide and varied role of the UK’s universities.

Over 100 universities and linked organisations are involved in the week. Nationwide activity will include open days and debates for members of the public to attend. A full list of events taking place can be found here

Supporters can also find out more about the campaign by joining the Universities Week Facebook fan page

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