Public Engagement with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) has always been important to us, and we love to talk about our world leading research, together with the impact science has on the world around us.
In order to do this, we host a monthly programme of fascinating public talks at Daresbury Laboratory called Talking Science. Our aim is to inspire and involve you, the public and schools in STEM. Last year Daresbury was delighted to celebrate 20 years of this popular series.
From September 2018 to June 2019 we took our talks off campus and out into the local region whilst we had our lecture theatre refurbished (where the talks are normally held). What better way to celebrate our twentieth year than to take Talking Science out to the communities!
This year we are back at Daresbury Laboratory with an exciting new programme of talks for 2019/20. So we do hope you can join us in finding out more about some of the amazing science and research that is currently happening in the world around us, from future missions to the moon to the rock guitar in 11 dimensions, there is something in the series for everyone!
In July 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took their first steps on the moon. It was a result of national pride and immense teamwork that transformed what was previously considered science fiction into fact and allowed them to arrive there safely. As a trainee astronaut herself, Jackie will talk us through that monumental moment 50 years ago and the progress and achievements human space exploration has made since. Will we go back to the moon? Join Jackie as she talks about her own experiences and the plans NASA and ESA have to return humans safely to the moon almost 47 years after we last set foot there…
Jackie is a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of Computing at Imperial College London and has a huge passion for communicating science and inspiring others to pursue STEM careers. Graduating with a PhD in Theoretical Particle Physics from the University of Liverpool in 2016, Jackie went on to manage the UK’s largest STEM engagement programmes, run in partnership with the UK Space Agency and Science and Technology Facilities Council. A year later, Jackie took part in the BBC Science production ‘Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes?’. For this she was selected from over 3,000 applicants to take part and to undertake tests similar to those used in the astronaut selection process at major space agencies. Following filming, Jackie has continued to work towards her dream and passion of space exploration - hoping to one day become the first Scouser in Space!
If you could bring back one living thing from the whole of the history of time, what would you choose? Author, comedian and former stem-cell biologist Helen Pilcher has thought about this problem a lot. Join Helen as she explains the cutting-edge science that makes the resurrection of extinct animals a very real possibility and explains how this can help us protect other endangered species from extinction. Hear her choices from eras gone by - from the King of the Dinosaurs, Tyrannosaurus rex, to the King of Rock ’n’ Roll, Elvis Presley.
On January 30th, 2011, James Piercy, 39, and from Norwich, set out for an ordinary Sunday morning drive with this family. But after 30 minutes on the road, the day quickly turned into anything but ordinary. Around midday, a nail punched the car’s tyre, causing the vehicle to spin off the road and smash into a tree. The whole accident took less than a minute to happen; just a few seconds in time that would change James’ life in an instant as he suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. In this thought provoking talk we will hear James story of injury and recovery and what he has learnt about his brain.
DNA. The double helix; the blueprint of life; and, during the early 1950s, a baffling enigma that could win a Nobel Prize. Everyone knows that James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the double helix. In fact, they clicked into place the last piece of a huge jigsaw puzzle that other researchers had assembled over decades. Researchers like Maurice Wilkins (the ‘Third Man of DNA’) and Rosalind Franklin, famously demonised by Watson. Not forgetting the ‘lost heroes’ who fought to prove that DNA is the stuff of genes, only to be airbrushed out of history.
In Unravelling the Double Helix, Professor Gareth Williams sets the record straight. He tells the story of DNA in the round, from its discovery in pus-soaked bandages in 1868 to the aftermath of Watson’s best-seller The Double Helix a century later. You don’t need to be a scientist to enjoy this book. It’s a page-turner that unfolds like a detective story, with suspense, false leads and treachery, and a fabulous cast of noble heroes and back-stabbing villains. But beware: some of the science is dreadful, and the heroes and villains may not be the ones you expect.
Gareth Williams is Emeritus Professor and former Dean of Medicine at the University of Bristol. His previous books for general readers are Angel of Death: The Story of Smallpox (shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize of 2010), Paralysed with Fear: The Story of Polio and A Monstrous Commotion: The Mysteries of Loch Ness. He is a past president of the Anglo-French Medical Society and has an honorary doctorate from the University of Angers. He is often to be found playing the flute or saxophone in and around Bristol.
Last updated: 30 August 2019