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 1st August 2016 – Julie Wertz – University of Glasgow – “The secret chemistry of art: unravelling an age-old textile mystery

The distinctive hue and renowned fastness of Turkey red textiles fuelled a massive industry in the West of Scotland in the 18th and 19th centuries, but in the 80 years since it was superseded by cheaper alternative dyes all firsthand knowledge of the process has been lost. Learn about the mysteries of Turkey red dyeing through archival research and cutting-edge chemistry.

Julie Wertz is a doctoral research student at the University of Glasgow studying and re-creating the historical textile dyeing process known as Turkey red. Her cross-disciplinary project, part of the University’s Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Scholarship scheme, is between the Centre for Textile Conservation and the School of Chemistry, with support from Glasgow University Archives and Special Collections. She gave the inaugural Jacob Bronowski Award Lecture for Science and Arts at the 2015 British Science Festival and has a bachelor’s degree is in chemistry and in French.

Mon 5th September 2016 – Dr John Broughall – Antibiotic Research UK – “Are we Discovering new Antibiotics Quickly Enough?”

Mon 3rd October 2016 –  Prof. Gavin Foster – University of Southampton- “How hot will it get? Insights into climate change from 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 5th September 2016 – Dr John Broughall – Antibiotic Research UK – “Are we Discovering new Antibiotics Quickly Enough?”

John Broughall, (pronounced as in a pub “brawl”), will discuss the issue of why the antibiotic development pipeline has dried up: what are the problems and why the pharmaceutical industry is not investing in research and development to produce new compounds. Multi-drug antibiotic resistance has been recognised as a global threat to health yet the solutions to this issue are not obvious, the current commercially driven pharmaceutical process does not appear fit for purpose. The charity that John is representing tonight, Antibiotic Research UK, is proposing a new approach to overcome this impasse, he will discuss their plans and the science behind their proposal.

John is a PhD microbiologist who has spent most of his career in the diagnostics industry including the development of rapid and automated methods for use in microbiology laboratories. Latterly he has worked in the medical departments of two major pharmaceutical companies focusing on both antibiotics and also new oncology compounds. He now runs his own consultancy business but is also a volunteer for Antibiotic Research UK.

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”

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.