Public Lecture Series for 2015-16

We’re now putting the final touches to our forthcoming public lecture series which starts in October, and the full details will be available on the ‘Public Lectures’ page of the website very soon. In the meantime, we can promise you a fascinating and diverse range of topics!

We’ll be taking a robotic journey into the Great Pyramid of Giza, and finding out how maths can help us solve some of the fundamental problems facing us today; looking at the role of chemistry in the production and harnessing of energy, and discovering how plants may hold the answer to food and fuel security in the future; and investigating sight and the visual centres of the brain.

We hope you can join us for another season of cutting-edge science and technology!

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Mad Hatter, Grey Matter Festival – Friday 10th July, Cambo Estate, Fife

We are pleased to be supporting one of the workshop activities at the Mad Hatter, Grey Matter Festival at Cambo House near St Andrews, which runs from 10.00 am to 7.30 pm on Friday 10 July.

Amazing Drawing Machines! will be led by kinetic sculpture artist Lara Greene, giving participants the opportunity to create beautiful& curious drawings using machines powered by pendulums. There will also be the chance to have a go at creating your own unique drawing machines, learning how simple combinations of levers & link rods can move in surprising ways!

Also on hand will be David Bradley, an engineer who has worked on the design of complex systems such as robots. David will explain the technical processes & introduce other aspects of engineering design including structures, machines & numbers.

The workshops are aimed at ages 8 and over, and the 1-hour long sessions will begin at 10.30 am, 12.00 noon, 2.00 pm and 3.30 pm. Further details of the workshops and all the other activities running as part of the Festival can be found here.

MHGMSummerFestivalAdvert15x8_72

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Next Lecture: ‘Who Do You Think You Are? The 500 million-years-ago Edition’

The next public lecture, and the last of our 2014-15 lecture season, will be given by Professor Carol Mackintosh of the College of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee, on Thursday 19 March 2015.

Titled ‘Who Do You Think You Are? The 500-million-years-ago Edition’, Carol will show how an evolutionary leap in our ancient ancestry boosted communication systems, with the result that the cells in our bodies are better at sorting multiple messages than even the smartest of smartphones. She will also explain how genetic mutations in cancers cause the information flow through these networks to be misdirected, suggesting new anti-cancer strategies.

The lecture, which is free, will be held in the D’Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre, Tower Building, University of Dundee, starting at 7.00pm.

The lecture is presented as part of the 2015 Dundee Women in Science Festival, and is supported by BioDundee.

Carol MacKintosh Lecture Poster

 

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Next Lecture: ‘Engineering Giants: Making an Aircraft Carrier’

Our next public lecture on Wednesday 25 February at 7.00 pm is by Mr Sean Donaldson, Babcock International Group, Rosyth, who will be telling us about the the construction and assembly of HMS Queen Elizabeth at Rosyth on the River Forth. This huge engineering project is on a scale that few can imagine, and in the lecture you can see how this magnificent new warship has being assembled. Sections of the hull and the two control towers have been built in six shipyards and the sections moved to Rosyth to be assembled.

The lecture will be held in the D’Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre, Tower Building, Dundee University, and the lecture is free and open to all.

We are grateful to the Babcock International Group who are supporting this lecture.

Aircraft Carrier Lecture Poster

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Next Lecture, Thursday 29th January 2015: “The Internet of Things: Building a Connected World”

Internet of Thingsgeorge_weir

The next in series of free public lectures is by Dr George Weir of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Strathclyde.

This lecture will examine the growth in wireless communication, which hints at a future in which familiar home appliances will interconnect to enable information exchange and decision-making based on data from multiple devices. While this may offer a Utopia of radical automation including domestic management, healthcare and just-in-time production, can we actually achieve a robust and reliable interconnected world free from tampering and service breakdown?

The lecture will be held in the Kydd Building of the University of Abertay, Bell Street, Dundee starting at 7.00pm.

We are very grateful to BCS who have generously supported this lecture.

BCS-TandF

 

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Next Lecture, Thursday 13 November: ‘When a Man’s Best Friend Turns Against Him: The Truth About Prostate Cancer’

Ghulam NabiThe next in our series of free public lectures is given by Mr Ghulam Nabi, Senior Clinical Lecture in Surgical Uro-Oncology at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee.

Titled “When a Man’s Best Friend Turns Against Him: The Truth About Prostate Cancer”, the lecture will explain why men in their later years are vulnerable to this cancer, which kills more than 800 people in Scotland annually. While it has always been difficult to predict the life expectancy of those diagnosed with prostate cancer, new diagnostic methods and treatments are greatly increasing the chances of survival, much to the relief of patients and their families.

This important and timely lecture is supported by Prostate Scotland, and delivered as part of the Dundee Science Festival.

The lecture, which is free, will be held in the D’Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre, Tower Building, University of Dundee at 7pm on Thursday 13 November.

prostate scotland logo

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Important Update – Change to Lecture on Wednesday 8th October

Due to an unexpected professional commitment, Professor Alan Fitzsimmons has had to cancel his lecture on 8th October. However, we are very pleased to welcome in his place Dr John K Davies of the UK Technology Centre at the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh who will speak on ‘Cool Astronomy: Exploring the Infrared Universe’.

Portrait of Dr John Davies at infrared wavelengths

Portrait of Dr John Davies at infrared wavelengths

Dr Davies, whose research interests include the study of asteroids and comets and who has made observations using both ground- and space-based telescopes, will take us on a personal journey through the development of infrared astronomy from the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) of the 1980s to the forthcoming James Webb Space Telescope.

 

 

We are most grateful to Dr Davies for stepping at short notice to provide this lecture; the time and venue remain the same – 7.00pm, D’Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre, Tower Building, University of Dundee.

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Opening Lecture – Comets Near and Far, Wednesday 8 October 2014

We’re delighted to be welcoming Professor Alan Fitzsimmons of the Astrophysics Research Centre at Queen’s University Belfast as our opening speaker for the forthcoming lecture series. With the European Space Agency probe Rosetta  poised to enter orbit around Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and send the Philae lander to its surface, this is an exciting time for cometary astronomers who hope to discover more about these small icy members of the solar system. Professor Fitzsimmons is one of the UK’s leading researchers into comets and asteroids, regularly making observations with some of the world’s largest telescopes, as well as contributing to television programmes such as The Sky at Night and Horizon.

AlanFitzsimmmons1

 

Comets Near and Far

D’Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre, Tower Building, University of Dundee

7.00 pm, Wednesday 8 October

Admission Free!

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Latest News – Public Lecture Programme 2014-15

We have now finalised the details of our public lecture programme for 2014-2015, which you can find here or by following the Public Lectures link above. All these lectures are free and open to all – we look forward to seeing you!

The Tayside & Fife branch of the British Science Association is most grateful to the following for their contributions towards this lecture series 2014-15.

Institute of Physics
Prostate Scotland
BCS
Babcock International
BioDundee
University of Dundee
University of Abertay Dundee

Brian Kelly, Chairman

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Watch Our Previous Talks!

 

We would like to point you in the direction of our YouTube page, where there are some excellent videos of previous talks by Ben Tatler, Sir Philip Cohen and Barbara Webb.

You can view all these videos here http://www.youtube.com/user/BritishSciTayFife.

Here’s a sneak preview of the first clip of the informative and entertaining talk presented by Prof. Barbara Webb from the University of Edinburgh, as part of our 2010-2011 lecture series.

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