Future Talks

If you would like to contribute to the cost of running the group, you can donate with a card on our Paypal page, even if you don’t have a Paypal account.


We meet at The Winchester Club (SO23 7AB), which is the large white building at the back of the Worthy Lane Car Park. All talks begin at 7.30pm unless stated otherwise.

Our YouTube Channel has recordings of some past talks.

Monday 3rd June
“Ecology and Conservation of our Native Crayfish”
Dr Ben Rushbrook

The white-clawed crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes is the only species of crayfish to Britain. However, this once widespread freshwater invertebrates has suffered a dramatic decline over the past 50 years, and is now a Nationally and Internationally endangered species. This talk will provide an overview of the ecology of species, before outlining its historic and current distribution in the UK and causes of its decline. We will then focus on the status of our native crayfish in Hampshire, and describe the action being delivered to secure the local long-term survival of this species by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and partners, through the Trust’s Southern Chalkstream project.

Bio: Dr Ben Rushbrook is a Principal Ecologist at Hampshire & Isle of Wildlife Trust, with particular interest in aquatic habitats and the invertebrates they support. The Trust has been the lead organisation in conserving white-clawed crayfish since 2008, and Ben has been at the forefront of the delivery of that work over that decade and a half period. Prior to joining the Trust Ben worked for an ecological consultancy in Oxfordshire, had been a fulltime volunteer in the Biodiversity Team of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust for five months, and completed his PhD in Behavioural Ecology at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth (now Aberystwyth University).

Monday 1st July
“Whooping cough vaccines: a century of good science and bad”
Dr David Miles

A hundred years ago, whooping cough killed more than one in every hundred children born in Europe.

Eighty years ago, two women in Grand Rapids, Michigan, developed the vaccine that stopped it. All it took was years of working evenings and weekends, an army of volunteer healthcare workers and lab technicians funded by donations from local businesses.

Fifty years ago, their whooping cough vaccine was at the centre of a scare that ushered in the modern antivaccine movement.

The story of the whooping cough vaccine is a story of good science, bad science and of the limitations of science when applied to anything as complicated as human beings.


David Miles is an infectious disease immunologist who has worked mostly on diseases of childhood in Africa and the vaccinations that protect against them. He now lives in London and tutors on the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s online MSc course. His first popular science book, How Vaccines Work, will be published in March 2023. He is on Twitter as @Variolator.

Monday 5th August
“Oyster bed restoration in the Solent Seascape”
Eric Harris-Scott