Future Talks

All talks at Winchester Discovery Centre, Jewry Street 7.15 for 7.45 unless otherwise advertised. Licensed bar serving hot drinks, cakes and snacks. No charge to attend. Contributions welcome.

 

Mon 3rd October 2016 – Prof. Gavin Foster – University of Southampton- “How hot will it get? Insights into climate change from our warm geological past”

US Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz in a recent hearing of the US Senate on climate change said that our understanding of the climate system as encapsulated in state of the art computer models is “profoundly wrong.and inconsistent with the evidence and the data”.  This is just one example of the anti-climate change rhetoric that one can hear these days.  Much of it cherry picks the available temperature data and exploits uncertainty in model simulations.  What I want to do in this talk is go over some of the fundamentals of the science behind our understanding of climate change and illustrate how you don’t need to rely on hockey sticks, hiatus’ or hearings of the US senate to know that higher concentrations of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere = warmer temperatures.  Finally, I will show how our current understanding, imperfect as it may be, is well supported by what we know about the climate of our warm geological past.

Mon 7th November 2016 – Prof Marika Taylor – University of Southampton – “Black holes: Unlikely sources of enlightenment”

Mon 5th December 2016 – Roger Brugge – University of Reading – “About the Weather”

Mon 2nd January 2017 – Helena Lee – University of Southampton – “Targeting abnormal retinal development in early childhood: Can we treat visual impairment before it is a problem?”

Mon 6th February 2017 – Frank Ratcliff & Catherine Mercer – Wessex AHSN – “The 100,000 genomes project; would you have your genome sequenced?”

Mon 7th November 2016 – Prof Marika Taylor – University of Southampton – “Black holes: Unlikely sources of enlightenment”

In the last century, black holes have moved from being a disputed idea at the edge of physics to playing a central role in our understanding of the cosmos. They are also thought laboratories that illuminate theories of the fundamental laws of physics, and researchers are busier than ever trying to make sense of what they mean. Marika Taylor will present the story of black holes: what evidence we have for their existence, how they form, and what they mean for the future of physics.

Mon 5th December 2016 – Roger Brugge – University of Reading – “About the Weather”

The weather affects us all to a greater or lesser extent in our day-to-day lives.

Knowing the weather that is to come is, consequently, important and, on occasions, lives can depend upon such knowledge. Weather forecasting is a major international activity, involving tens of thousands people and many billions of pounds worth of equipment worldwide.

After a brief discussion of the history of weather forecasting, Roger will describe some of the principles of a numerical weather prediction model.

He will explain how a modern weather forecast is produced, from the taking of observations and their inclusion into a previous forecast to create the analysis (i.e. the current state of the atmosphere), which then leads into the making of the forecast. Mention will also be made of the role of the human forecaster and the methods used to verify forecasts.

Roger has been interested in weather since his school days, when he first began running his own weather station – a hobby he has maintained to the present day. He obtained a PhD at Imperial College studying atmospheric convection with numerical models, and has since made a career of using and developing computer models that simulate the workings of both the atmosphere and ocean.

Mon 6th February 2017 – Frank Ratcliff & Catherine Mercer – Wessex AHSN – “The 100,000 genomes project; would you have your genome sequenced?”

The 100,000 Genomes Project will sequence 100,000 genomes from around 70,000 people. Participants are NHS patients with a rare disease, plus their families, and patients with cancer.  Significantly, this is currently the largest national sequencing project of its kind in the world.

The aim is to create a new Genomic Medicine service for the NHS, transforming the way people are cared for. As a result of the project, genetic diagnoses will be made for some patients where this hadn’t previously been possible.  In time, there is also the potential for new and more effective treatments for diseases with a genetic basis.

The project will also enable new medical research. Combining genomic sequence data with medical records is a ground-breaking resource. Researchers will study how best to use genomics in healthcare and how best to interpret the data to help patients.  Using the 100,000 Genomes Project as a foundation, the aim is also to realise the potential of the UK genomics industry.  This talk will explore the project, and ask the question; “Would you have your genome sequenced?”  wessexahsn.org.uk/ @WessexAHSN