Antarctica: Heartbeat of the Planet – Wednesday 8 November 7.00pm

We’re delighted to welcome meteorologist and former BBC weather presenter Peter Gibbs as our speaker for the next free public lecture in our 50th Anniversary series.

Peter worked as a meteorologist in the Antarctic in the 1980s, and recently returned to the remote Halley research station for BBC2’s Horizon programme, to see how Antarctic science is helping us understand the magnitude of rapid climate change.

Peter’s lecture Antarctica: Heartbeat of the Planet will show how the annual change in ice cover in the seas surrounding the Antarctic continent drives atmospheric and oceanic circulations right around our planet, and will look at how things are now changing – the Antarctic peninsula is experiencing some of the most rapidly rising temperatures on Earth, and scientists are finding worrying evidence that even the huge kilometres-thick polar ice cap is showing signs of strain.

Join us at the D’Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre, Tower Building, University of Dundee on Wednesday 8 November at 7.00pm to hear Peter’s lecture.

Admission is free.

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Tayside and Fife Branch 50th Anniversary Lecture Series 2017/18 – Opening Lecture

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Branch, our public lecture series this year will highlight five key developments in science and technology for each decade of the past 50 years, covering space exploration, climate change, computing, genetics and particle physics.

Our opening lecture on 4 October 2017 – the 60th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik 1 and the start of the Space Age – will be ‘New Horizons in the Solar System’, with Dr John Davies of the Royal Observatory Edinburgh.

John will present updates and science highlights from newly explored objects in the solar system: the main belt asteroid/dwarf planet Ceres which is being orbited by the Dawn spacecraft, the Rosetta/Philae mission to comet Cheryumov-Gerasimenko and the flyby of the Pluto-Charon system by NASA’s New Horizons mission. These will be constrasted with the state of the art for such missions when the Tayside and Fife Branch was formed some 50 years ago.

John’s career has has encompassed engineering on high performance aircraft and various astronomy missions, operations at the UK Infrared Telescope in Hawaii and co-ordinating a large EU astronomy grant. His scientific interests are in comets and asteroids, including the Trans-Neptunian objects. Asteroid 9064 is named Johndavies  to mark his contributions to this field of science.

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Our next Public Lecture – Sparkling Clouds and Crackling Lightning in Extrasolar Planets

The diversity of the 3,400 planets already identified outside our solar system is far larger than we expected, such as gas giants orbiting close to the host star where storms rage. This talk will explain how we think these storms form and why many extrasolar planets may be covered in sparkling mineral clouds and filled with crackling of lightning.

Sparkling Clouds and Crackling Lightning in Extrasolar Planets will be held on Thursday 16th March 2017 at 7 pm in the D’Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre, Tower Building, University of Dundee.

This public lecture is suitable for all ages and is free (no tickets required) – we look forward to seeing you there.

The Branch thanks the Institue of Physics in Scotland for their support for this lecture.

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Our next Public Lecture – Dermatological Discoveries in Dundee

Over the last 25 years, the causes of several important skin diseases have been discovered at the University of Dundee, from rare skin blistering conditions through to eczema.  In this lecture, Professor Irwin McLean from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee will describe how the Dundee group is developing therapies for incurable skin diseases.

Are You Thick-Skinned Enough? Dermatology Discovseries in Dundee from skin blistering to Eczema will be held on Wednesday 22 February 2017 at 7 pm in the D’Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre, Tower Building, University of Dundee.

This public lecture is suitable for all ages and is free (no tickets required) – we look forward to seeing you there.

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Special Lecture to Celebrate Dundee Astronomical Society’s 60th Anniversary

In 2016, the Dundee Astronomical Society celebrates its 60th Anniversary. To mark this occasion, the Tayside and Fife Branch of the BSA has teamed up with the DAS to present a special lecture, ‘Listening to Einstein’s Universe: the Discovery of Gravitational Waves‘.

We’re delighted that this lecture on one of the most significant astronomical discoveries of recent times will be given by Martin Hendry, Professor of  Gravitational Astrophysics and Cosmology at the University of Glasgow, and a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, the worldwide group of scientists at the forefront of the search for gravitational waves.

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Join us at 6.00 pm on Saturday June 11 when Martin will recount the inside story of the remarkable discovery in September 2015 of  gravitational waves from the merger of two black holes more than a billion light years from Earth, detected by two laser interferometers known as LIGO, the most sensitive scientific instruments ever built. Martin will also explore the exciting future that lies ahead for gravitational-wave astronomy as we open up an entirely new window on the Universe.

The lecture, which is free and open to all, will be held in Lecture Theatre 3 of the Dalhousie Building of the University of Dundee.

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‘Sowing the Seeds of the Next Green Revolution’ – Thursday 17 March 2016

The final lecture of our 2015-16 winter lecture series takes place on Thursday 17th March, at 7.00pm. Our speaker is Professor Claire Halpin of the College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, and the lecture is part of this year’s Dundee Women in Science Festival. We are also grateful for the generous support of the Scottish Society for Crop Research towards the lecture.

Crop Lecture poster

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Future Debates discussion event – New Technologies, Society and the Individual

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As part of the British Science Association’s Future Debates programme, the Tayside and Fife Branch is holding a discussion event on the impact of robotics and AI on society. Our panel of local scientists will explore issues and concerns related to the increasing importance of new technologies on our everyday lives, responding to questions from the audience.

Brave New Worlds? Exploring the Impact of New Technologies on the Individual and Society‘ is be on Monday 29 February 2016, starting at 7.00pm, at Scotland’s Jute Museum@Verdant Works, West Henderson’s Wynd, Dundee DD1 5BT.

Book your free tickets on Eventbrite at bsa.sc/dundee

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Next Lecture: In the Country of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is King

The next lecture in our winter series is on Wednesday 24th February, when our speaker will be Dr John Ellis of the Department of Ophthalmology at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee. His lecture is titled ‘In the Country of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is King’, and will be held in the D’Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre in the Tower Building of the University of Dundee, starting at 7.00pm.

Admission, as always, is free.

Opthalmology Lecture Poster 2

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Next Lecture – Mathematics: The Framework of Life

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Our first lecture of 2016 is ‘Mathematics – the Framework of Life‘ by Dr Fordyce Davidson, Head of the Division of Mathematics at the University of Dundee.

It’s a common perception that mathematics has been designed purely to torture school pupils and has no relevance to “the real world”. In fact, as this lecture will demonstrate, we interact with mathematics throughout our daily lives, and mathematical tools are being used to address some of the most fundamental challenges facing mankind today.

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The lecture, which is free and open to all, will be held in the Kydd Building of Abertay University, Bell Street, Dundee, at 7.00 pm on Thursday 28th January 2016.

 

 

 

 

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Next Lecture – Chemistry and Energy

The next lecture in our series will be held on Tuesday 10 November, when Dr Mark Read of the University of Birmingham will speak on ‘Chemistry and Energy: From Steam to Nuclear Power’. The lecture starts at 7.00pm in the D’Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre at the Tower Building of the University of Dundee.

Chemistry Lecture

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