World-leading researchers to speak at Saturday Morning Science

A 3D rendering of the human brain

A 3D rendering of the human brain

Some of Durham University’s world-leading scientists will seek to inspire members of the public in their chosen field when an annual series of talks returns later in September.

The University’s Saturday Morning Science programme sees some of the University’s top experts explore their specialist subjects in public talks aimed at high school students and adults alike.

This year, the programme, which is free to all, has been expanded beyond physics to include biosciences , chemistry , computer sciences , earth sciences , engineering , mathematical sciences and psychology.

There will be 22 sessions between September 2018 and May 2019, each including a 45-minute talk and 15 minutes for questions. Refreshments will be served afterwards and some sessions will include associated activities, such as laboratory tours.

The Big Bang Show

The series will begin with Professor Richard Bower , from the University’s Department of Physics , the Institute for Computational Cosmology and the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy , whose talk entitled ‘The Big Bang Show’ will explore humanity’s place in the Universe, what the Universe is made from and evidence for an expanding Universe.

Other topics to be explored include: what makes people hear voices or see things; driverless cars; climate change; human interactions with seaweed; light; neutrinos; atomic clocks; our energy needs; electromagnetism; the human brain; how plants ‘feel’; sunspots; autism; volcanoes; and planetary collisions.

The University has run ‘Saturday Morning’ sessions since 2015, last year attracting over 500 visitors.

Wide appeal

Professor Frank Krauss , from the Department of Physics and the Institute of Particle Physics Phenomenology , said: “Saturday Morning Science is aimed at young people or adults with an interest in modern science and the world around them.

“Through accessible talks and fielding questions, we hope to inspire further interest in the fascinating subjects that our speakers spend their whole careers researching in great detail.

“We have a great line-up of researchers and topics for this year, and we are looking forward to welcoming many people to the University when the series begins later this month.”

The practical details

The talks will be held at the University’s Calman Learning Centre , off Stockton Road, Durham City, on Saturdays from 29 September to 1 December 2018, from 2 February to 30 March 2019, and from 27 April to 11 May 2019.

All talks will begin at 10.30am, followed by refreshments at 11.30am. Entry is free. No pre-booking is required.

Guests arriving by car are advised to use the Park and Ride scheme or a public car park.

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