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Olivia Meets Her Hero at Science Live Conference

A recent school trip to the Science Live Conference at Manchester Opera House proved to be more than just an educational experience for one Congleton High School student. When Olivia Barber met IVF pioneer, Professor Lord Robert Winston, at the event she had come face-to-face with the man who had made her very existence possible.

Juley Barber, Olivia’s mum, takes up the story:
“It certainly was an amazing moment when Olivia got to meet the man who made my dreams come true and helped me to give birth to my two amazing and wonderful girls. Olivia really was a miracle baby but then, when I got pregnant with her sister, Madison, I felt well and truly blessed.

“They have made my whole life complete and it was helped by this one man, Lord Robert Winston. Olivia was our third attempt at in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and Madison was an FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer.) I had three embryos frozen. Two perished on transfer but Madison was our little fighter.”

Meeting Lord Winston was a fantastic opportunity for Olivia, who was eager to meet the man who had pioneered the technology to help her mum become a mum and she was delighted to be able to have her photograph taken with her hero and tell him her story.

Lord Winston is Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College London. In the 1970s he developed gynaecological surgical techniques that improved fertility treatments. He later pioneered new treatments to improve IVF and developed pre-implantation diagnosis.

Twenty three Year 10 students attended the conference as part of Congleton High’s programme of events and activities to celebrate 2018 as the Year of Engineering. Along with Professor Lord Winston, there were four other high profile speakers: Simon Singh, Andrea Sella, Steve Jones and Dave Cliff, who delivered a range of presentations on topics including The Future of Computing, The Big Bang Theory, The Chemistry of Water and Nature Vs Nurture.

Students were also able to pick up lots of tips for the forthcoming exams from a GCSE examiner who gave a talk at the event.


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