Exeter

Exeter University Liaison

PROJECT TEAM: Bertram Brockington, Carol McCullough, Trudi Learmouth.
Administrator: Helen Cleasby
We have members on the Exeter Animal Welfare & Ethical Review Group (Olwen Goodall) and the Social Sciences and International Studies Ethics Committee (Peter Cleasby).

The University Liaison Project Team is not a 'group' like the many groups in Exeter U3A: we are a team working to make a mutually beneficial link between Exeter U3A and 'our' University of Exeter.
We arrange talks by top academics, presentations by research students and help develop research opportunities for U3A members.

These events are open to all Exeter U3A members.
Please note we expect confirmation of bookings to be sent out at the latest a fortnight before the event.

On the 3rd of March 2016, Exeter U3A signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Exeter.
A History of our Project can be found in
Links

FUTURE EVENTS and RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES

For PUBLIC EVENTS at the University please see University Events

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PUBLIC LECTURE: STUDYING THE HEART USING COMPUTERS
Thursday 6th December 2018; 7-8pm

Heart disease currently affects approximately 7 million people in the UK. It is therefore important to carry out research to continue improving the treatment of this disease. However, it is often not possible to research many aspects of the heart using data from patients. In the last few decades, the development of computational methods to study the heart has progressed to a point where we can observe not only the structure of the heart but its complex functions, both in health and disease. Professor Richard Clayton from the University of Sheffield has been working in this field of research for over 25 years and is giving a public lecture on his work.

When: 6th December 2018, 7-8pm.

Where: Newman Blue Lecture Theatre, Peter Chalk Building, University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4PT.

To sign up, please visit the event webpage: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/studying-the-heart-using-computers-tickets-51312253331

This is a free event. Parking is free at the University of Exeter after 6pm.

This event is organised by Dr Yolanda Hill and Dr Chris Marcotte, and is funded by the EPSRC Centre for Predictive Modelling in Healthcare at the University of Exeter, and supported by the British Science Association.

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GOING DUTCH? COMPARING THE LAW ON ASSISTED SUICIDE IN ENGLAND AND THE NETHERLANDS
A talk by Dr Adam P. McCann
Thursday, 20th December 2018
2pm - 4pm
Room LT1 in the the Institute of Arab and Islamic Study (IAIS) Building, Streatham Campus.

(See Streatham Campus map:click on area A and print)

Refreshments provided.

This talk will provide an introductory overview of the law on assisted dying in England, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. In this session we will not only discuss the different laws ‘in the books’ but we will also discuss how the different laws work ‘in action’ and why euthanasia is legal in some jurisdictions (such as the Netherlands) but not others (such as England and Wales).

To book a place on this event please email us at exe.u3a.uni.liaison@gmail.com stating full name, membership number and a contact email address.
It would be helpful if you include the date of the event in the subject line of your email.

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AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES AND CHALLENGES FOR THE LAW
A talk by Dr Matthew Channon, Lecturer in Law
Friday, 4th January 2019
10.30am - 12pm
Bateman Lecture Theatre, Building 1
Streatham Campus

(See Streatham Campus map:click on area A and print)

Tea and coffee proivided

Matthew will present on the Law and Driverless Vehicles. He will focus on the development of this technology and some of the legal challenges which are likely to be faced. In addition, he will further discuss the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act.

To book a place on this event please email us at exe.u3a.uni.liaison@gmail.com stating full name, membership number and a contact email address.
It would be helpful if you include the date of the event in the subject line of your email.

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PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH RESEARCH: PARTICIPANTS NEEDED

People are increasingly living longer and often with more than one physical health condition. Physical and mental health conditions commonly co-occur. Research suggests that people view and therefore prioritise and manage their health conditions differently.

I am interested in developing a better understanding of how people view and manage their different health conditions. Developing our understanding of people's experiences could help guide future health service planning and delivery.
I am looking for people to take part in my research which involves a questionnaire and interview. For more information please get in touch.
Are you an adult with two or more long term physical health conditions?
Do you experience anxiety and/or low mood?
If you answered yes to the above questions I’m interested in hearing your voice.

Please contact Charlotte Donegan, Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student
email: cd510@exeter.ac.uk or telephone: 07791380462

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RECENT REPORTS

HAMLET IN PARTS: BROADCASTING SHAKESPEARE LIVE FROM THE RSC, 31st August 2018

Halloween saw a group of twenty-six U3A members gather at Exeter University to listen to Pascale Aebischer, Professor of Shakespeare and Early Modern Performance Studies, deliver a thought-provoking lecture on the complexities of delivering the “Live Broadcast” of Hamlet as performed by the RSC from Stratford upon Avon, to global cinema audiences.
In the Hamlet production, six cameras are positioned so as to capture images of both the actors and their audience in the performance. The technical scriptwriters for the ‘live broadcast’ have three days in which to revise their scripts to suit the needs of the camera work, adjusting to the parts played by the camera, the audience and of course the performance itself. Whilst the audience do not have to audition for their ‘parts’ in the broadcast production, they may be selected to portray to the cinema audiences the demographics of those watching in the theatre. Selection like this has been found to be successful in increasing the number of rising theatre attendances.
So, two kinds of experiences were discussed here. That of the cinema audience, helped along by the slick camera work and direction, every movement, sound and nuance, being delivered by the technical director and his team. Then, that of the theatre goers who not only bear witness to a play-within-a-play but also to the drama unfolding via the technical performances of the camera crew and its scriptwriters. In the Live Broadcast the audience will only see what the camera shows, whereas those in the theatre will have the full experience of the production, and the strong sense of the emotional reactions from others in the audience. Nonetheless, social media buffs watching live broadcasts in cinemas can get quite a buzz, tweeting in the intervals, and before and after performances can put them in touch with other viewer- tweeters in cinemas around the world. Furthermore, cinema audiences can sometimes feel like theatre audiences if the production is really intense and the auditorium to capacity.
A discussion followed and members appeared very much in favour of the broadcast option, thus avoiding restrictions of higher seat prices, and distance, and so having the opportunity to experience live theatre (albeit limited by camera crews’ decisions, as above) which they might not otherwise have been able to enjoy. Added to that, the larger theatre companies, e.g. RSC, no longer do tours around the country. This also means that smaller local theatre companies can develop and expand.
Me, if I could, I’d always go for the smell of the grease paint and the best seats in the house, however when push comes to shove you’ll see me at the Picture House watching a “Live Broadcast”.
Sheelagh Phillips

Further Reading: Shakespeare and the Live Theatre Broadcast Experience
(Susanne Greenhalgh & Laurie E Osbourne Edited by Professor Pascale Aebischer.)

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FAMILY CLASS – 27th November 2018

On an incredibly wet and miserable Tuesday morning at the end of November, five U3A members attended a session of the Family Class at the INTO centre. This class is held for family members of European and overseas students at the University of Exeter to help them to improve their English and to learn about British culture and daily life. We were welcomed very warmly by a lively group of more than twenty students, including people from Italy, Spain, Turkey, South Korea, Japan, and Columbia – truly a global gathering. There was a great range of ages (with the youngest attender being 11 months!) and some students had been in the UK or had lived in English-speaking countries for several years, whereas others had not visited the UK before and had only been here for a month or so. The British weather of course provided an introductory topic of conversation!
As this was a teaching session for the students, the organiser, Jo Hughes, Insessional Science Liaison and Coordinator of General English at INTO, had prepared the class with a list of topics that they should ask us about, ranging from Christmas Culture to Politics through to Why People (especially young men) in Britain Don’t Use Umbrellas!
Halfway through the session of an hour and a half, U3A members moved tables so the students had a chance to exchange ideas with a different person and importantly to listen to a different English voice. As usual, the time passed very quickly, with the lively conversation lubricated by some snacks and tea and coffee. At the end, Jo Hughes thanked the U3A members, saying that the students had had a really enjoyable time and that it was the personalities and contributions from them and us that make this so successful. Indeed, the students certainly seemed to enjoy the session, not just for meeting and chatting to us but also the chance to socialise with each other. They were very appreciative of the opportunity to find out about British life by chatting to us, with some of them thanking us personally at the end. We hope to see some of them again at the Conversation Cafe sessions which Jo Hughes is planning to organise for the Spring and Summer Terms.
Trudi Learmouth

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ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL: THE SCIENCE OF BRILLIANT COLOUR
Professor Pete Vukusic, 29 November 2018

Bertram Brockington welcomed us on behalf of the U3A University Liaison Team and introduced us to Professor Vukusic. Professor Vukusic recalled having addressed us in the past, as a group if not the same individuals, and introduced his presentation on colour with special reference to colour in nature. But first he addressed some basics about the physics of colour, with thanks to Isaac Newton who published his Opticks (sic) in 1690. We learned that Sir Isaac had discovered or understood a great deal of those basics which have been improved upon in large measure only with the advantage of more accurate equipment than he had to hand.

Sir Isaac anticipated Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” by demonstrating that white light when refracted (bent) through a prism splits into its composite colours. He and most of our audience claim these are seven – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. Now it is taught without Indigo since if this colour actually occurs in the spectrum it does so indistinctly at the margin of Blue and Violet. Light is the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum – the spectrum of electromagnetic waves (transverse waves like those in a plucked guitar string) which extend from high energy (short wavelength) ionising radiation through gamma rays, X-rays and ultraviolet rays to visible light (VIBGYOR in order of increasing wavelength) and then Infra Red (heat), micro-waves and radio waves. The higher energy, shorter wavelength frequencies are refracted most and the longer least, so that a beam of white light passing through a prism spread into the familiar spectrum showing that white light is composed of those colours. Sir Isaac went a step further by refracting a beam of the red portion of the spectrum through a prism to explore whether or not it would split further. It didn’t, showing that it is not a composite colour and that the spectrum we know consists of the fundamental visible colours.

With reference to Professor Vukusic’s beautiful magenta lamb’s wool pullover, we discussed the mixing of colours, including those not in the spectrum. Here we learned that some coloured light was so pure that it comprised a very narrow band within the spectrum. A pure red might be light of or very close to wavelength 685 nm (nanometer – one billionth of a meter) for example but light of a wider range, 635 – 735 say, centred around 685 would also look red. Other spectrum colours behave similarly but a much wider range of additional colours is created by mixing wavelengths from across the spectrum.

The colours of pigments arise because the pigment absorbs all wavelengths other than that which it reflects and which accounts for its colour. They work by subtraction so when pigments are mixed to create new colours, they are increasingly less bright as each pigment absorbed its share of the spectrum until dark greys or browns result. On the other hand, coloured light can be mixed to new colours but with increasing brilliance towards white ultimately. The pointillist artists understood this and adopted the technique of painting using tiny dots of primary colours, relying on the observer’s eye to mix them to intermediate colours while retaining brilliance by avoiding subtraction.

So far we had been discussing colour created by pigmentation. We now turned to structural colour. Sir Isaac had rightly understood that the colours we see in the film of a soap bubble result from a process he explored called interference. Light, as we have said, is a transverse wave, like those on the surface of water or a vibrating string. When two waves are super-imposed, they reinforce each other where the peaks and troughs coincide but depress each other where peaks coincide with troughs. The movements of the two wave patterns sum together but if one is up and the other down they sum to nothing. When light strikes a soap bubble some is reflected from the outer surface of the bubble film and some passed through to be reflected on a parallel path from the inner face of the inner side of the film. So these two rays travel together and interfere with each other. Where the path of the light through the bubble film is close to or a whole number multiple of the wavelength of, blue light say, the blue light waves in the two rays will reinforce each other – constructive interference – while those of other wavelengths will interfere destructively and we will see blue. The multiple and varying colours we see arise because the varying thickness of the bubble film and the different angles at which the light travels through it mean that the length of the ray’s path varies and so different colours are interfered with constructively or destructively at different places and times on the bubble’s surface.

This type of colouration, structural colour, produces iridescence in which the colour of a surface varies with point of view. We see this in the neck feathers of pigeons, for example, and in the wings of butterflies and tails of peacocks. Here, the effect is created by reflection from layers of scales or other structures within the reflecting surface. Microscopic imaging shows these surfaces to contain very regular and precisely sized reflecting layers, like multiple soap bubble films. Depending on the angle at which the incident light strikes these surfaces, interference between the several reflected rays from the several reflecting layers reinforces different wavelengths of light. This is structural colour (because it is created by structures within the reflecting surface) and involves no pigmentation.

The next topic we looked at was bio-luminescence. Professor Vukusic demonstrated this using light sticks – plastics tubes containing two fluids separated from each other because one is contained in a glass vial within the outer plastic tube. When the tube is bent, the inner vial breaks and the two liquids can mix whereupon the stick glows with the colour determined by the chemistry of the combining liquids. We saw this demonstrated by his disassembling one of these sticks and mixing the liquids in a transparent cup, producing the effect discussed. Glow worms, for example, use this kind of chemistry to produce their light.

We then saw how astonishingly the octopus exploits the manipulation of surface colour for disguise. Not only could it change the colour and pattern of colour in its skin by changing the shape of pigmented cells which would present smaller or larger patches of colour, it could change its surface texture also. The video illustrating this showed what looked like an underwater shrub. But suddenly a large part of it detached and morphed into an octopus. It was quite astonishing, especially when seen running backwards as the animal attached itself to this clump of apparently leafy greenery and then disappeared as its colouration and skin texture transformed to match its perch.

Despite there having been lots of questions and discussion along the way to frustrate Professor Vukusic’s plan, we nevertheless got a wonderfully coherent and clear exposition of this fascinating subject from him, for which Trudi Learmouth thanked him on our behalf.
Bill Cross

PUBLISHED REPORTS

The BBSRC have published a report on Bioenergy based on eleven public dialogue events. Members of our U3A took part in one of these on 30th August 2013.
See Bioenergy in LINKS

BLUEBERRY SUPPLEMENTATION STUDY
Dr Jo Bowtell and her team have now published the results of the blueberry supplementation study: http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/apnm-2016-0550?journalCode=apnm#.WL7rHNSLTs0 in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism. The report also had some good coverage in the media and the team would like to thank everyone who took part for their help.
See Blueberry study in LINKS

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More Group Pages
Anthropology Birdwatching
Bridge Canoeing
Centrepoint Choir
Cinema Circle Dance
Classical Music Computer Mentoring
Convenors Café Crosswords
Current Affairs Cycling
Discussion Discussion Circle
Drawing for Pleasure Drawing Techniques
Exercise Exeter University Liaison
Food Matters French at the Lodge
French Issues and Topics Gardening
Geology German Conversation
Going Places Hearty Hikers
History History on the Move
Italian Italian 2
Italian 3 Language
Local History Mah Jong
Mathematical Pastimes Out and About
Parlons Francais avec Marie-Claude Patchwork and Craft
Patchwork, Applique & Quilting Philosophy
Photography Play Reading
Poetry Quizzes
Reading Group III Reading Group IV
Reading Group V Reading Group VI
Reading Group VII Room 101
Science Scrabble
Short Weekly Walks Spanish : First Course
Stride Out information Subtitles
Supper Club Tennis
Topsham Discussion Group Travel
Ukulele Understanding the Weather
Walkie Talkies Walking Group
Workshop Singers Writing for Pleasure