This Tuesday we attended a lecture at Eton, delivered by Professor David Read, on the interface between Chemistry and Biology and how this could potentially be used to solve the world’s biggest problems. It was interesting to consolidate our prior knowledge about biofuels, fossil fuel usage and the importance of reducing our impact on the world around us, especially with Greta Thunberg’s recent speech at the UN.

Professor Read first explored the chemistry behind climate change, before talking about the world’s fuel consumption, linking this to economics and the concept of supply and demand. He then explored the biochemistry behind biofuels, including how genetic modification could be used to create the ideal solutions to the fuel problem and more.

We enjoyed how interactive the lecture was, as throughout the talk there were polls, which were useful in visually representing the group’s opinions on the issues raised. Professor Read also touched upon different areas of current research – he even spoke of a bacterium (in testing) that could turn carbon dioxide into fuel!

We found many of the aspects to be thought provoking, especially looking at the possible ability to break down algae and cellulose to use as fuel in the future. Overall, it was fascinating to learn about all of the applications to the theory we are taught in school.

Chloe Rodgers and Faye Wong, Year 12, Windsor Girls’ School