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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 the air?
Psychology 101: for parents
The day-to-day life of families can be emotionally raw and psychologically dramatic. Alison Pike, scientific expert on The Secret Lives of 4/5/6 Year Olds, provides insights for parents in directing this drama. Through stories and video, you will learn keys such as how to put yourself first without feeling guilty, manipulate your child’s behaviour, and stop sibling squabbles.
Can you feel the music?
Sound is received and interpreted by our body as well as our ears. Can we bring more physicality into our musical experiences by exploring and manipulating ways in which the body interacts with and mediates sound? Enter unique listening environments with Joanne Armitage as she demonstrates her compositions through vibrating installations and bone-conducting headphones.
Stars in your eyes
A technique developed by astronomers to see clear images of stars is revolutionising eye care. Karen Hampson demonstrates how individual cells in the eye can be clearly imaged, allowing for diagnosis of disease several years earlier than current routine tests and new discoveries about eye health.
Challenge the current practices used in airport security and police investigations with psychologists Thomas Ormerod and Coral Dando. Take part in a series of mini-experiments and discover how new techniques for analysing behaviour and language are challenging prejudices and improving detection of threat, vulnerability, and deception.
Sugar is the new fat
Public health officials say that British people eat too much sugar and have started work to reduce our intakes. Is this justified? Will they be able to change people’s diets? Discuss with our panel of nutritionists, sensory scientists, psychologists and an angry chef.
Quantum leap: building the world’s fastest computer
Earlier this year, a group of researchers led by Winfried Hensinger unveiled the first realistic blueprint for the construction of a large-scale quantum computer. Through live demonstrations, hear and visualise how this exciting breakthrough has transformed quantum computing from a theoretical concept to a technology with the potential to solve problems a billion times quicker than today's fastest supercomputers.
Sensing gravity from your pocket
A gravity sensor so accurate it is approaching the sensitivity required to detect the gravitational pull of a human being and fits in your pocket: a cheap, accessible alternative to the currently available commercial gravimeters. Join Richard Middlemiss, a key force in its development, as he explores how the invention could revolutionise our prediction of volcanic eruptions to save lives and livelihoods.
Why Equal Rights Legislation cannot be used to measure LGBTQ liveability
A country’s ‘progress’ in LGBTQ Equalities is often judged by legislation. Seeing places as less developed in this respect can mean LGBTQ ‘politics’ only happens there, with places perceived as more advanced failing to progress. Kath Browne explores these factors, examining what makes life liveable for LGBTQ people in India and the UK.
The million-dollar shuffle: symmetry and complexity
Many complex problems become easier when they have symmetries: finding a route is easier in a city with a grid of streets than in one with a chaotic layout. Colva Roney-Dougal explores how mathematics can be used to crack symmetrical problems, and shows that sometimes symmetry itself is the issue.
20,000 years pre-Brexit: human evolution in Europe
How have the genetics of human populations in Europe changed in the last 20,000 years and why? In this interactive event, we will explore the genetics of prehistoric Europeans as revealed through ancient DNA analysis, addressing questions about recent evolution in our species and the effects of large-scale population movements.
Risk and uncertainty in breast cancer treatment
For most women, being diagnosed with breast cancer causes significant emotional stress. The pressure of making important decisions about treatments, which often come with distressing side effects, can increase anxiety. Dame Lesley Fallowfield discusses her research into the psychological impact of breast cancer and shows how doctors can minimise stress by improving communication around risk and uncertainty of test results and recommended treatments.
Daniel Colquitt researches the mathematics of invisibility. Invisibility cloaks have been created for light, sound and water. If we can make all these invisible, what else can we design cloaks for? It was once hoped that invisibility cloaks would allow us to protect buildings from earthquakes, but it was deemed impossible. Discover how mathematics provides us with an elegant solution.
Understanding the voices in your head
Everyone hears a voice in their head: their own inner speech. But some people hear voices from elsewhere when no-one is speaking. This can be distressing and associated with psychosis, or a positive and spiritual experience. What are these experiences like, and what can psychology and neuroscience tell us about them?
Alternative bio-medicine in elite sport: method or magic?
Controversial biological therapies for injury are often used by elite sportspeople like Usain Bolt. These therapies, though legal, seldom have supporting scientific evidence. Alex Faulkner and colleagues discuss how such beliefs can persist alongside the era of medical biotechnology and highlights the complexity and ethics of medical decision-making in elite sport.
Huxley Debate: is human enhancement a human right?
With booming progress in genetics, artificial intelligence and body enhancement, the concept of ‘transhumanism’ is becoming less like sci-fi and more like something we need to plan for. The term, coined by Julian Huxley 60 years ago, now takes on new meaning. How far can our current ways of thinking extend into these quickly-evolving technologies? Will we need a new code of ethics? And should these technologies be provided to everyone?
Women in science: changing culture, improving diversity
The lack of women studying and working in science, technology, engineering and maths has long been seen as an issue. What can universities do to help combat this through institution culture change? Hilary Lappin-Scott will explore some of the issues, barriers and challenges we all face. There will be a networking reception following the talk.
African food journeys: from the Bayou to Barbados
Dine with food historian Peggy Brunache and let her guide you through the archaeology and culture of creole cooking. Over three courses, explore how slavery and the movement of enslaved people has influenced food across the southern states of America and the Caribbean.
Science in The Lanes
Not your average science-in-a-pub event. We’re taking over the notorious drinkeries in The Lanes to bring you an evening of exploration and entertainment to show you that when the sun sets, science comes alive. So choose your tipple and join the bar hop in this celebration of curiosity! More details to be announced soon. No need to book, just drop in.
Community labs, engaged online groups, affordable equipment and open access resources are providing new opportunities for people to participate in scientific research outside of traditional settings. Discuss the exciting prospects for increased cross-discipline collaboration, artistic experimentation and original research by those outside of universities and industry and debate the ethical issues and risks of biohacking and open science.
Being young in the age of perfection
We are bombarded with messages about physical standards of ‘perfection’. Pressures to conform can lead to unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as excessive gym use and dieting, use of unnecessary supplements and misuse of illicit drugs. Take part in the conversation and discover how education, regulation and culture can contribute to supporting vulnerable young people.
Does the UK need a ‘Body Farm’?
Body farms are outdoor laboratories where donated human cadavers are used for scientific experiments. Join Anna Williams, one of the country’s leading forensic anthropologists, as she explains how they help solve crimes and outlines the case for and against the need for one in the UK.