When batteries go bang!

First commercialised in 1990, lithium-ion batteries have transformed modern life through their ubiquitous application in power-hungry consumer electronics. Recently, the safety of these batteries has been called into question, with high profile failures in phones and aircraft. Explore what can go wrong with Paul Shearing and hear the latest breakthroughs in battery technology.

Mining rare earth elements from the air

Many modern technologies such as mobile phones and wind turbines rely on rare earth elements to function. Currently, these mostly come from one mine in China and the security of their supply is uncertain. Here, Teal Riley ponders: Could the future of rare earth element mining rely on tracking down new deposits of them from … Continued

The Mathematikado

The Mathematikado, produced and performed by female students in 1886, parodied Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado to argue that women could master college-level maths. Find out how female students of math and science responded to social critique of their participation in traditionally male fields of study. Speakers: Dr Andrew Fiss and Dr Laura Kasson-Fiss (Michigan … Continued

Art and science collaboration: an ecology of practices

Together, art and science allow us to sense and create meaning from our surroundings. Director the Arts Catalyst, Nicola Triscott explores the idea of both as components of an “ecology of practices” which encourage investigation of critical world issues beyond the gallery and laboratory. How can this approach improve our interpretation of reality?

The ethics of human gene editing

Emerging gene editing technologies such as CRISPR/cas9 offer the prospect of eradicating genetic disease and, possibly, extending human capacities. Jackie Leach Scully will explore how societies now face difficult choices about the kinds of people we want to have, the lives we want to lead – and who makes those decisions.

Why do we like the foods we like? 

The behaviour of eating is fundamental to health as it determines the amount of energy and types of nutrients that are brought into the body. In this session chaired by Martin Yeomans, Jeff Brunstrom and Lucy Chambers explore how our eating behaviours are learnt from life experiences that start as early as in the womb … Continued

So you think you know what works in the classroom? 

Can an online resource where schools get access to evidence about effectiveness and intervention cost inform better decisions-making in teaching environments? Kevan Collins answers questions about the pioneering work done in England on what works best in the classroom.

LGBTQ legislation: a measure of progress?

Introducing legislation to address LGBTQ inequalities is often seen as a measure of a progress, but it is only one step we can take to improve the quality of LGBTQ people’s everyday lives. Kath Browne discusses her research bringing academics and activists together to examine what makes life liveable for LGBTQ people in India and … Continued