Science in the News
|Convenor: Richard Winterburn||Vacancies|
|Date: 1st Thursday of the Month||No waiting list|
|Time: 2pm to 4pm|
|Venue: St Michael's Undercroft|
Aims of the Group
To Discuss and Learn about Developments in Science:-
- Items of Scientific News from newspapers, television, etc.
- Special Subjects of Interest through Talks or Recorded programmes
- Outside Trips to Local Industries or Museums
The following list will give you a flavour of the topics we have covered since our inception:-
|*Plate Tectonics||*Wind Energy||*Xray Crystallography|
|*Climate Change||*Gravity Waves||*DNA|
|*Sperm Whales and Basking Sharks||*Evolution||*Fracking|
|*Treatment of Parkinsons Disease||*Nuclear Power||*Dendrology|
|*Irrigation||*Sizewell B dry store||*Mycology|
Picture of the Month
Every month we update this home page with an image related to an item of news in Science. The current image shows an aerial view of the Sizewell Nuclear power site in Suffolk. Our November meeting was replaced with a visit and tour of the facility.
We publish a Monthly Newsletter which summarises our recent activities, gives details of future meetings and provides other useful information. The newsletters are indexed under the month name and can be accessed by clicking on the relevant LINK on this page.
At many of our meetings we have presentations given by members of the group or invited speakers. These presentations span the full range of our science interests. A selection of these are available by following the relevant LINK item on this page. If you would like further details of the subject matter, please contact our Group Convenor who will pass you the relevant contact details.
This month, November 2019 our regular meeting was replaced with a visit to the Sizewell Nuclear power station near Leiston in Suffolk. A sizeable group of 24 of our members were hosted at Sizewell and given a detailed briefing of the functionality of the "B" facility followed by a guided tour of the site lasting almost 2 hours. The tour included entry into the vast turbine hall, an outside walking tour of the other buildings including the sea water pumping and filtering site and finished with a lengthy open question and answer session inside the visitor centre. All together this made for a very interesting and informative visit and highly recommended for those who have not yet been there. This visit will be followed up in 2020 by a visit to our group by a speaker from Sizewell, who will provide an update on the development of the Sizewell "C" facility, still in the detailed planning phase. This visit was due to be given at Sizewell during our visit but was postponed and will be re-scheduled for May or later next year.
Diary of future activities:
With the onset of Christmas seasonal festivities, the December 5th meeting will be completely different to normal. We are planning a social get together for members to get into the festive spirit of the month and plan to hold two fun quiz sessions. Firstly John Humphreys has set up a broadly science and perhaps fun based 20 questions. We will divide the group into four "teams" for this and will make every effort to spread the science talent around so nobody need fear of being exposed. Then Jon Roots is organising a "Bring a mystery object" quiz - let's have everybody bring along some item which might be unrecognisable to most, if not all of the group. Just let Jon know what you will contribute either before the meeting or as you enter. Remember, it can be anything which will fit through the doorway of The Undercroft, so get digging in the farthest reaches of the kitchen drawers, the loft and garage/tool shed etc. We need volunteers to provide a range of "refreshments", including some snacks, perhaps mince pies, sausage rolls or whatever. Please, anyone happy to join in and make this a fun day, give me a call or drop me an email.
Our first meeting in 2020 will not be held on the usual first Thursday but on the second Thursday i.e. 9th January 2020 - St Michael's Undercroft at 2pm. This to relieve the time pressures around Christmas/New Year celebrations. We would like this to be an open session with your own news items but making these fit the single theme, plastics disposal and recycling. This will be kicked-off by Rod Parker our resident plastics expert, so put your thinking caps on, start searching and bring along your news items under these themes.
February 6th we focus on the subject of dendrology - Trees. This will be presented by John Loftus ( again a member of the group and qualified botanist) - should be very interesting.
March 2020 will be focussed on a talk presented by Dr Helen Bynum, a well known expert on the history of medicine and medical science. (www.bynumauthors.com/Helen)
In April we are lucky to have a visit from Dr Mark Collins, ex Chairman of The Galapagos Conservation Trust ( https://galapagosconservation.org.uk ). The details of his talk have yet to be finalised but The Galapagos and his interest in specific species of butterflies will I am sure provide an interesting and informative session.
So a full, varied and hopefully interesting next few months.