An engaging pair of Fellows
Dr Kevin Fong and Dr Richard Barnett both trained as doctors at UCL medical school and they are both now Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellows – the first two ever to be appointed. Their journeys from medical school to engagement fellowship could hardly have been more different, however.
A couple of weeks ago, we invited Kevin and Richard to come and record a conversation for our blog. Ostensibly they were to interview each other about their careers to date but, as you might expect from two such natural communicators, they explored a range of other topics with characteristic erudition, humour and insight.
We’ll be posting their interviews of each other next week, but in the meantime, here they are introducing themselves and explaining what being an Engagement Fellow means to them.
And as a bonus example of what happens when you put two Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellows in a room together with a tape recorder, here’s an (unedited) excerpt of their conversation. It starts with a discussion of anaesthesia and consciousness, moves through the relationship between science and medicine and ends up considering whether poor communication from the medical profession might be partly to blame for homeopathy being attractive to many people despite there being no evidence that it works.
Kevin and Richard have guest curated two events at the Royal Institution this month, starting tonight with Heart to heart and continuing on 28 Feb with From iron lungs to intensive care. You can listen to them talking about these events, looking at the historic development of human-to-human transplants and intensive care medicine, in a recent Science Weekly podcast from the Guardian.
The application process is now open for the second year of Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellowships: see the Trust website for details.