Science and Technology
Availability - Please contact David Bagon via the Carrier Pigeon
Dec 2019: Member's home - please contact David Bagon for details
From Jan 2020: Vision Hall, Watling Street, Radlett, WD7 7JJ - Room 4 on the second floor.
There will be a charge for each meeting which will cover expenses, hiring the hall and providing the usual refreshments after the talks.
On Tuesday 17th December Leon Ferris will give a talk entitled Electric Energy, its Generation, Transmission and Use
Electric energy is what underpins our present lifestyles, but we take for granted the fact that when we flip a switch we can instantly illuminate our house, switch on the washing machine
or bring to life our computer. The talk will explain in simple terms the science and technology that enables electric power systems to operate reliably and efficiently.
On Tuesday 21st January Norman Parkyns of Dacorum U3A will give a talk entitled If hydrogen's the answer, what's the question?
Although electricity derived from sustainable sources is the first solution to providing carbon-free energy that comes to the mind of the public at large, the use of hydrogen may also play an important role. In the area of public transport particularly, hydrogen is ready to make an impact: the application is held back by institutional, not technical, difficulties.
The talk will also describe how hydrogen is made, how it is stored and how its use can be adapted to conform to a low-carbon future energy, detailing current projects working to start the process of use on a large scale.
On Tuesday 18th February Professor Mary Field of Rothampstead Research will give a talk entitled The History of Insecticide Use and Development
The talk will cover the history of insecticide use and development, the potential risks and benefits and alternatives to conventional chemistry. It will go into some detail on the very public debate about one particular type of insecticides, the neonicotinoids, and their potential effects on bees. Including the speaker’s views on how policy making can become skewed and doesn’t always use the best scientific evidence. It will try to make the case for using insecticides but will also acknowledge that these should be used in the most responsible way. It will describe ways of phasing them out and finding better alternatives to protect our crops without damaging non-target species and the wider environment. The talk will draw on examples of the work being done in her Department at Rothamsted, including biological control, biopesticides, the use of ‘natural’ chemicals, plant breeding and genetic manipulation.
Selection of Past meetings
In November, we had a very interesting and fascinating talk on Tuesday given by Jim Parkin on "Michael Faraday - Scientific Genius". We had another full house, and thanks go to Jim and Francis for their hospitality.