On Friday 19th October 2012, Mark Reckless MP for Rochester and Strood visited Rochester Grammar School as students attempted to set a Guinness record for the world’s largest memory game as part of Biology Week.
By sitting a ten-minute memory test which has been prepared by renowned experimental psychologist Professor Bruce Hood, the pupils contributed to a nationwide scientific study.
Mark Reckless acted as an independent witness to verify the record attempt for Guinness and also took questions from students with an interest in politics on a variety of issues.
“I was delighted to join the students at Rochester Grammar School for this World record attempt and to assist with the important neuroscience research which members of the Society of Biology are undertaking.
Rochester Grammar is a great school and I was impressed by the fantastic facilities on offer. I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to take questions from the students on a wide range of local and national issues affecting our younger people in the constituency.
I would like to thank and congratulate all of the students who took part in the World record attempt and for making my visit to the school so enjoyable and informative.”
Dr Mark Downs, Chief Executive of the Society of Biology, said:
“This was the climax of Biology Week, with schools, universities, and learned societies testing their memories simultaneously. We’ve been thrilled with the number of people who are keen to take part and we have high hopes for setting an impressive world record.”
Alongside the attempt school pupils learnt about how our brains store memories (or at least convince us we have made accurate memories!). Anyone who is interested in how the brain works, from remembering how to make a cup of tea to falling in love with Justin Bieber, can watch the Society of Biology Brain Explorers video series.
Dr Downs says:
“We hope the record attempt will highlight the importance of neuroscience research, especially into diseases like Alzheimer’s, which affects around 496,000 people in the UK and is projected to increase.”
The memory game was the last of a series of events being held to mark Biology Week which ran from 13th-19th October and aims to inspire the nation about the life sciences. Other events included a debate about whether we should save the panda, an awards ceremony for a photography competition, and a launch in the House of Commons.