Popular Science Lectures at Bishops' High School: These are open to all U3A members and are held twice a year in autumn and spring at Bishop's High School. The subjects are varied and suggestions for future topics would be welcomed. Each lecture is announced on the Events page. We aim to entertain and inform you, not to blind you with science! No need to book, just turn up on the day.
Date of next meeting is Wednesday February 20th 2020 09:30 for 10:00, finishing at noon.
Contact Joseph O\'Neill if you require further information.
Location: Bishops Blue Coat Church of England High School, Vaughans Lane, Great Boughton, Chester, CH3 5XFin the Lecture Theatre.
Report of October 2019 Meeting
Our October meeting was graced by an audience of 72. Mike Money kicked off proceedings with his talk on Fire, Food and the Evolution of Modern Humans. 23 varieties of hominids are known, of which we are the last remaining species. They underwent rapid evolution about 1.2 million years ago, resulting in flat faces, large brains, small guts, hairless bodies, upright posture and articulate speech. One theory is that this was the result of learning to cook food, which provided high quality energy with much less effort than raw food.
Mike Shaw of the Sundial Society then entertained us with Why don't Sundials tell the Right Time? He explained the differences between sun time, mean solar time, mean local time, and clock time, the analemma (which describes the position of the noontime sun throughout the year), the effect of longitude and the Equation of Time. Having grasped that, we were willing to agree that a sundial telling the time at 3:15pm when the clock says 4:30pm was actually correct. A number of us went away with our own sun dial cards.
Report of Feb 2019 Meeting
The Spring meeting of Popular Science on Wednesday February 20th was graced by a record number of 91 delegates. Professor Gill Baynes of Lancaster U3A started us off with a fascinating talk on radiology, her career discipline. If you have ever peered at an X-ray wondering how anyone can work out what's going on, you would be amazed by the detail, often in colour, of the images that can be obtained using the latest technology. She covered imaging techniques, the use of radiology in forensics, veterinary medicine and well person screening, as well as a horrifying array of foreign bodies detected by imaging. And when it got too serious, we had some cartoons to enjoy.
The second session took us from inner space to outer space. It was presented by our own Hazel McDougall. This talk was inspired by an Open University course and covered the latest discoveries about the moons of the outer solar system. Many of these have surprising features such as volcanoes and ice covered oceans, and may harbour microbial life. The talk concluded with a montage of fly-by shots of the moons and rings of the system set to a Shostakovich waltz.