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
We hold regular meetings via Zoom. For more information, contact the Convenor.
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
Our meeting in May focusses on the work of the Cefas laboratory, Lowestoft. The picture you will see shows the Cefas research vessel CEFAS ENDEAVOUR in a captivating night scene alongside in Lowestoft.
This has been superceded by a more complete report on this page.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.
With the constraints necessarily imposed on large gatherings during the COVID-19 emergency, we now hold a virtual monthly meeting using Zoom on-line technology. The most recent was held on 1st April 2021 and was attended by 19 people.
The meeting started with a short introduction from the Convenor, Richard W explaining the agenda and the use of Zoom., and a reminder to all U3A members that 1st April was the due date for 2021/22 U3A membership fees; PLEASE, EVERONE PAY YOUR SUBS ASAP if you have not already done so.. We are constrained by the limits imposed on social gatherings, to continue using virtual communications technology, in our case with Zoom, but it is recognised that this has also provided some new approaches which we will experiment with over the ensuing months.
The session then continued with an invited speaker Dr Mark Collins ex Head of the Galapagos Conservation Trust. This charitable, international organisation is functioning to support local government efforts in the rebirth of the Galapagos island archipelago following years of man-made destruction and mismanagement. The talk was principally focussed on the lifetime of the population of the island of Floreana. then took us on a journey through several centuries of the effects of foreign mismanagement of the flora and fauna of the island. Dr Collins then detailed many recent successes to re-establish some of the indigenous species which have been decimated or completely eradicated by the onset particularly of tourism. Absolutely fascinating and a superb lesson to us all.
We then took our customary tea break before setting up a question and answer session with Dr Collins.
The meeting continued with some other science news topics raised by members.
Derek Howe, having introduced us some time ago to the growing topic of personal airborne vehicles, related a recent news item from the USA that United Airlines have moved ahead in this by placing on order a fleet of some 200 single passenger, so-called electric air taxis. We will be watching this development with interest.
Dr Mike Lloyd provided us with an update on the COVID battle taking place across the globe and in particular provided some very cogent facts about the flood of vaccines now becoming available.
Unfortunately the clock limited us from more and other outstanding items will be on the agenda for our future meetings.
Diary of future activities:
FOR THE LATEST ON THE IMPACT OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC ON U3A ACTIVITIES, PLEASE LOOK AT THE BECCLES U3A HOME PAGE.
focussed upon a look at Cefas , the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Lowestoft. This will be done by a spokesperson from the laboratory,Dr Umberto Binetti. His talk will give us a short introduction to Cefas' activities and facilities and then focus on Dr Binetti's work as a Marine Litter Data Analyst. There will be a short break at the midpoint after which Dr Binetti is happy to take a question and answer session. We will then complete the afternoon with any random notices or news items raised by the members.
Don't forget, if you have items or topics of Science in the News which you think will be of general interest, please contact me to fit you into our timetable.