Weymouth & Portland

Science

Weymouth and Portland U3A Science Club

Talk Programme from September 2019 to March 2020

All talks on second Tuesday of the month at 1000h in St Aldhelms Church Hall in Spa Road, Weymouth http://www.staldhelmschurchcentre.co.uk/
Attendance is unrestricted. (£1 payable at the door for U3A-controlled expenses plus voluntary 20p for Tea/Coffee and biscuits)
Organised by Alex Scott contact number 01305 760748; or by email using bluebird symbol opposite.
If you want to receive a reminder before each talk, please let Alex have your email address.

Please note: Talks may be cancelled or re-arranged under certain circumstances. If your name is on the contact list, you will be informed of these changes by email.

2019

September 10th Elephants to insects by Katie Thompson

Katie Thompson is a Research Associate working at the Faculty of Science and
Technology, Life and Environmental Sciences at Bournemouth University, England.
She is interested in human wildlife conflict and the broader impact this is having on
the environment. Her areas of interest are in African wildlife, where her research
focuses on ecosystem level conservation (African elephants and insects),
environmental education and sustainable development within South Africa and
Kenya. Ultimately, she aims to use this knowledge to facilitate improving long term
management of wildlife and their natural habitats, through high impact research and
outreach activities. Also, please see
https://www1.bournemouth.ac.uk/news/2017-12-15/bu-s-katie-thompson-
receives-freedom-city-london !

October 8th Flooding in Weymouth by Geoff Kirby

Geoff is a stalwart supporter of the Science Group and has given us several
talks before on a range of topics. This talk will be based on his book of that title
- see https://bit.ly/2T4DScl. Geoff has made this book available as a free pdf
download from http://www.geoffkirby.co.uk/WeymouthFlooding.pdf. This talk
should be of interest to a lot of U3A members who live locally. Geoff will
describe the the potentially catastrophic effect of sea level rise on Weymouth
and the ‘island’ of Portland’s future viability.

November 12th The Geology of the Jurassic Coast by Alan Holiday.

Alan Holiday is a long term resident of Weymouth and was a teacher and
lecturer of geology and geography before retiring in 2007. He is chairman of the
Dorset Geologists’ Association and a geological conservation group called
DIGS. The talk will focus on the geology of the Jurassic Coast with special
emphasis on the interpretation of the fossil and rock record and the importance
of Uniformitarianism in geology, the Present is the Key to the Past.

December 10th Double bill (two 30 minute talks)

Talk 1: The European Eel, Past and Present by David Bucke

David has a life-long interest in freshwater fish and nature in general. At an
early age he became fascinated with eels and their complicated life-history and
myths. He trained as a histologist at MAFF's Central Veterinary Laboratory,
Weybridge in 1957. A move to Huntingdon Research Centre (HRC) further
developed his interest in histopathology in many animal species including fish.
There, he set up the only fish disease diagnostic laboratory in England and
Wales. This was unusual for a commercial laboratory as it should have been
Government work. This led to the establishment of a MAFF Fish Disease
Laboratory in Whitehall in the late 1960's, later it moved to Weymouth (FDL)
now Cefas. In 1976, David was recruited there to lead the Diagnostic and
Pathology Research into fish and shellfish diseases. Although he researched
into a wide range of fish species, eels were not a top priority for MAFF in his
time. His talk will cover the life history of the European eel, methods of catching
eels, their commercial value and more importantly, why the eel is now on the
RED endangered list of animals similar to that of the panda.

Talk 2: The Origin of the Nothe Fort guns by Tony Fisher

Tony Fisher, who is a keen supporter of the Science Group, gave us a talk on
the steel industry in 2018, says ‘When I retired to Weymouth, four years ago, I
volunteered at the Nothe Fort, where there are two 64pdr Rifled Muzzle Loading
guns in the reception area. They are big guns, weighing several tons each, and
the accompanying plaque dates them at about 1860. They are obviously not
made of cast-iron, and there was not the technology to form steel in such
weights in the mid nineteenth century. I therefore did some research into how
and of what they were made, and the results of this research, the basis of my
proposed presentation, are utterly fascinating. At least, it fascinates me, but I'm
a nutcase when it comes to metal forming.’

2020

January 14th Climate change and I - My life in a changing climate by John Tomblin

John already talked to the group about the topic of climate change twice before.
However, we have had many new members since his last talk (in September
2017) and the topic is certainly not one that is going away! He has been writing
a book of the same title, which will be a personal account of how he met many
aspects of the climate change story in his life. He tells me that he hopes to have
this book finished by the date of the talk.

February 11th Sleep by Steve Coles

We welcome back Steve Coles from the Lyme Regis U3A to talk to us about what
scientists know about sleep - why we sleep, patterns of sleeping and the chemical
and physiological changes that occur during sleep. He will also touch on sleep
disorders and the relationship between poor sleeping and disease risk. When
Steve last talked to us, it was about the development of medical drugs. That was
utterly fascinating and I am sure this talk will be equally fascinating.

March 10th The early history of photography - ending with the invention of the
Kodak camera in the 1880s by John Marriage

John Marriage is the co-ordinator of the Lyme Regis U3A Science Group. His
background is as an inorganic chemist, engineer, and historian of photography. He
is the Editor of Photographica World - see www.pccgb.com - and regularly give talks
on photo-history. He came to give us a talk already in 2016, when he brought along
a truly wonderous collection of electrostatic equipment and ended his talk by
memorably sending a fountain of foil pie trays into the audience using a van der
Graaf generator. This talk on the early history of photography will include a mix of
technology, art and social history.

April onwards to be arranged

July/August Summer Break

Dates for your Diary
Tue Nov 12th The Geology of the Jurassic Coast by Alan Holiday.
Tue Dec 10th Double bill (two 30 minute talks)

Talk 1: The European Eel, Past and Present by David Bucke
Talk 2: The Origin of the Nothe Fort guns by Tony Fisher
Tue Jan 14th 2020 Climate change and I - My life in a changing climate by John
Tomblin
Tue Feb 11th 2020 Sleep by Steve Coles
Tue Mar 10th 2020 The early history of photography - ending with the invention of the
Kodak camera in the 1880s by John Marriage
More Group Pages
Badminton Basic Jewellery Making Book Club Bridge
Calligraphy Chess Country Dancing Creative Writing
Crochet Current Affairs Discussion Cycling DIY for absolute beginners
Exploring Literature Past & Present Family History Film Society French Conversation
French Revisited Gardening Club German Golf for Pleasure
History Italian (Beginners) Life Skill-Progressive relax Mah Jong
Military History MOTO (Members On Their Own) Music Appreciation Music Making
Outings and Theatre Trips Photography Play Reading Qi Gong
Quizzers Rummikub Science Scottish Country Dancing
Scrabble for Fun Singing for Pleasure Solo Whist Spice Club
Sunday Lunch Club Table Tennis Tennis Ukulele
Walking Miles & More Group Walks (Local) Watercolour Painting Write your own life story
More Group Pages
Badminton Basic Jewellery Making
Book Club Bridge
Calligraphy Chess
Country Dancing Creative Writing
Crochet Current Affairs Discussion
Cycling DIY for absolute beginners
Exploring Literature Past & Present Family History
Film Society French Conversation
French Revisited Gardening Club
German Golf for Pleasure
History Italian (Beginners)
Life Skill-Progressive relax Mah Jong
Military History MOTO (Members On Their Own)
Music Appreciation Music Making
Outings and Theatre Trips Photography
Play Reading Qi Gong
Quizzers Rummikub
Science Scottish Country Dancing
Scrabble for Fun Singing for Pleasure
Solo Whist Spice Club
Sunday Lunch Club Table Tennis
Tennis Ukulele
Walking Miles & More Group Walks (Local)
Watercolour Painting Write your own life story