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Lord Winston opens new £250,000 science labs

Published on 19/10/16

Students studying science at The Hewett Academy, Norwich now have four new laboratories to use following a £250,000 investment.

The new labs at The Hewett Academy were officially opened today by scientist and TV presenter Lord Robert Winston.

They will be used by the academy's 500 pupils in lessons from Year 7 right through to GCSE and are in addition to newly refurbished classrooms for humanities lessons.

Altogether the Cecil Road school has seen more than £1m in improved facilities for students since joining the Inspiration Trust in September 2015.

As well as opening the labs, Professor Winston - a pioneering geneticist who has presented more than a dozen BBC television series - spoke to pupils in two question and answer sessions in the school's Walter Roy Theatre.

Students asked Professor Winston about a wide range of topics including his work on fertility, what got him interested in science, his views on science and religion, and the impact of Brexit on university research.

Professor Winston told pupils that it was important for them to be enquiring and work together.

"There was a study done on Albert Einstein's brain, looking at what was different between it and a normal brain. All the scientific community was waiting for the results and it turned out that there was nothing different that could be detected.

"The lab I work in is full of ordinary people like you. The work we have done has helped people have babies, it has helped cure diseases. Working together is what makes great science."

Welcoming the new laboratories, he said it was important that students had the chance to try out practical experiments and get hooked on science.

The new laboratories are named after Sir Thomas Browne, the 17th century doctor and polymath who lived in Norwich from 1637 until his death in 1682. 

Sir Thomas studied medicine and a wide range of science and literature and is credited by the Oxford English Dictionary with the early or first use of hundreds of words including 'electricity', 'medical', 'ambidextrous', 'approximate', 'coma', and 'jocularity'.