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Bright young minds meet top policy researchers

* 24 September 2003 *

Bright young minds meet top policy researchers

Gifted and talented teenagers discussed how the Government could handle issues such as GM crops and biological warfare with top science policy researchers at the University of Sussex.

More than 60 pupils from schools across the South East attended the Gifted and Talented Conference at The Freeman Centre, a new international centre of research excellence that brings together SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Sussex and CENTRIM - Centre for Research in Innovation Management from the University of Brighton.

Professor Ben Martin, director of SPRU,  said: "The idea was to excite school children about issues in science and technology research, and for our researchers to hear some fresh perspectives. Our new building has given us more space and better facilities for holding this kind of event. We want to be able to interact with a wide range of groups outside academia."

The young people, who attend schools that have been identified as specialist schools, were introduced to a range of subjects on which researchers are currently working, including biological warfare, environmental issues, and creativity and innovation. They were given access to web resources and journal articles to support their discussions and debates, and met researchers and students in the science, technology and innovation policy field of study.

The event, held on September 23, was organised in partnership with the Specialist Schools Trust, a registered educational charity that acts as the central co-ordinating body for the specialist schools programme.

The Freeman Centre, named after SPRU's founder Professor Christopher Freeman, was funded with assistance from the Government's Joint Infrastructure Fund.  Designed to match the original campus architecture of Basil Spence, it accommodates 200 people and is one of the first buildings on the Sussex campus to feature low-energy ventilation and heating systems.

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Press Office contacts: Jacqui Bealing or Alison Field, University of Sussex,
Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456,

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