Dr. Siouxsie Wiles
The University of Auckland, New Zealand
Dr Siouxsie Wiles is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, where she heads up the Bioluminescent Superbugs Lab. The lab combines Siouxsie’s twin passions for glowing creatures, like fireflies and glow worms, and nasty microbes. In a nutshell, Siouxsie and her team make bacteria glow in the dark to better understand how superbugs cause disease and to discover new ways to fight them. As a publicly-funded scientist, Siouxsie believes tax-payers have a right to know how she spends their money and is a keen tweeter, blogger, podcaster, artist and curator.
Picture this. You commission me to draw your portrait and send me a photo to work from. When you and your friends ask to see the finished portrait, I tell you I gave it away to someone else, and paid them several thousand dollars to take it, because it was in colour. When you ask them to see your portrait, they charge you and each of your friends $30 to look at it for 24 hours. And when someone else asks me to see the photo I worked from to check how good a likeness the portrait is, I tell them they can only see one corner of the photo. Or maybe I decide not to let them see it all, in case they want to draw a portrait of you too. Ridiculous as this scenario sounds, it’s a fairly accurate description of a lot of publicly-funded biomedical science. In her Sci21 webcast, Siouxsie describes how the internet age is challenging this outdated model and calls for scientists and the public to fight for a publicly-funded science system fit for the 21st Century.
Watch Dr. Siouxsie Wiles Sci21 webcast, Open Science