|Where||The Beacon Cafe|
|When||Second Tuesday of the month|
doors open at 7 for 7:30pm start
Our most precious resource is right beneath our feet!
with Helen Browning
Tuesday 14th January 2019
A mighty 95% of our food comes from the soil.
Soil feeds us, our animals and our wildlife – put simply, we cannot live without it.
What’s more, soil is a huge carbon store. UK soils hold an estimated 9.8 billion tonnes of carbon: equivalent to the global carbon emissions made by humans in one year!
But we’ve been taking our soils for granted. Today, more than half of the world’s soil is degraded and every minute we lose the equivalent of another 30 football pitches.
This is a crisis.
Helen Browning is Chief Executive of the Soil Association, runs a mixed organic farm in Wiltshire and has served on various government committees.
12th November 2019: Micro-climates: Surface to Air Interactions, with Colin Lloyd
8th October 2019: Fungi: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, with Jennifer Shelton
10th September 2019: Observing the Earth from space, with Peter Allan, honorary scientist at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
9th July 2019: Aliens vs Aliens: biocontrol of invasive species, with Dick Shaw of CABI
11th June 2019: A Brief Tour of the Universe, with Tony Hersh
14th May 2019: Clearing the Air: Enabling lower emissions from internal combustion engines, with Alisdair Brown
9th April 2019: Autonomous, connected, electrified and shared transport: the next generation, with Sally Povolotsky
12th March 2019: Oxfordshire going ‘Smart’, with Tony Hart
12th February 2019: Gene therapy: is a cure for blindness in sight? with Laurel Chandler of the Univeristy of Oxford
8th January 2019: ‘Hydrotropia’: a post-fossil fuel sustainable energy system? with Kevin Fothergill of the Hydrogen Hub
13th November 2018: The Living Ash Project: securing a future for our ash trees, with Jo Clark of Future Trees Trust
9th October: Earth Observation and Agriculture: Pieces of a Jigsaw. With Mark Jarman of the Satellite Applications Catapult, Harwell.
11th September: Energy: it’s not just about the technology! with Dr Sarah Darby of the Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University
10th July 2018: Osney Lock Hydro with Dr Barbara Hammond MBE, Chief Executive of the Low Carbon Hub
12th June 2018 Valuing the Environment with Professor Rosie Hails,Director of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Science at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
8th May 2018 Has Science killed God? with Sharon Dirckx, Academic Tutor at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics
10th April 2018 Climate Change with Richard Harding, Director of Biogeochemistry at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
13th Mar 2018 The Space Sector
13th Feb 2018 Battery Electric Cars
9th Jan 2018: Solar & Wind Energy with Chris Church
14th November 2017: Spotlight on Temperature With Matt Hills
12th September 2017: Do My Genes Make me Sad?
11th July 2017: Wantage: The Last 600 Million Years with Mike Simmons
13th June 2017: Fusion – Why we need it and how to achieve it with Alan Sykes
9th May 2017: Going Viral! with Dr Mike Skinner
11th April 2017: Cryogenics – How low can you go? with John Vandore
14th March 2017: Transforming Chernobyl with Tony Powell
Feb 2017: Kite Technology – Creating a Power Plant with a Difference Dr Lucas Wilkins & Dr James Thorniley
Jan 2017: The 100,000 Genomes Project with Jennifer Whitfield
14th June 2016: Testing for Space: the story from design to launch with Christina McQuirk
12th April 2016 Cancer Immunotherapy Dr Demin Li from the Nuffield Division of Clinical Laboratory Sciences at the University of Oxford talk
8th March 2016 Scientific Computing at Diamond: The challenges of large-scale data collection and processing
9th February 2016 Valentine’s special: The Psychology of Romantic Attraction Dr Martin Graff (University of South Wales)
10th November: Festive Cheer: From Humble Yeast to Brewing Industry
Skylon and the SABRE engine – the future of space flight
Driven by an extensive and pioneering technology programme, Reaction Engines Ltd has made a breakthrough in aerospace technology that is now allowing the development of engines that will propel aircraft at speeds of up to five times the speed of sound or directly into Earth orbit. Richard Parker, Principal Design engineer, will be taking us through the worlds of SABRE, Skylon and the future of space flight!
Tuesday 13th October 2015
Under Pressure: The Science of Aerosol Containers
Robert Fell, R&D Manager for Aerosols at Ardagh Group and a Director of the British Aerosols Manufacturers Association will be talking about the different types of metal aerosol containers currently available for purchase in the UK, and cover how aerosol containers are made and what steps the industry takes to ensure these pressurised containers are safe for the consumer to use. The talk will also cover the topic of the sustainability of metal aerosol containers.
Tuesday 11th Aug 2015
Fragmented Sleep, Fragmented Mind
Christopher-James Harvey and Dalena Van Heugten from the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences are joining us to talk about the science of sleep – an overview of what it is, the circadian system and a look at sleep and dissociation.
Tuesday 14th Jul 2015
Fusion – within our grasp?
With fossil fuel reserves diminishing and concerns over climate change increasing, the hunt for alternative sources of energy has never been more important. In the middle of rural Oxfordshire, a thousand scientists and engineers are undertaking a project to develop a new source of energy – nuclear fusion.
Join us to hear Chris Warrick from the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy talk about the quest for this seemingly ideal power source…
Tuesday 9th Jun 2015
What is Forensic Science?
Amy Kuzemka from LGC Forensics joins us to talk about the work carried out in a Forensic Biology department, including item examinations, DNA profile interpretation, case reporting and attending court.
Tuesday 12th May 2015
Why are snowflakes hexagons? A Diffraction Story…
All snowflakes that fall from the sky have a hexagonal shape and all salt crystals are cubic, but why? Both of these observations can be explained by crystallography, a field in which there have been nearly 30 Nobel Prizes awarded and which is vital to modern science, yet remains not widely known outside the lab. Drawing on his research experience, Dr Michael Wharmby will tell the story of crystallography from its roots in 18th century studies of minerals, through to its more recent use to understand the role of proteins in biological systems, explaining along the way how this important technique works with the aid of lasers & marshmallows…
Tuesday 14th Apr 2015
Was it right to build the LHC? The moral and ethical implications of Big Science.
In this cafe sci accelerator physicist and science communicator Dr. Suzie Sheehy from STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory is going to share some of the questions that keep her awake at night, tough questions about her own field of research. Is it right to spend billions of pounds on building the Large Hadron Collider when there are people living in extreme poverty? What are the moral and ethical implications of Big Science? Is it justifiable for scientists to fly thousands of miles to conferences while the rest of us are encouraged to cut down our carbon footprints? With many scientists just down the road at RAL and in Oxford working on current and future ‘Big Science’ projects, this is a chance to examine and discuss these projects and how we spend taxpayers money on them from a wider perspective, be that moral, philosophical or scientific.
Tuesday 10th Mar 2015
The Clever Science of Canned Food
Bryan Donald, Senior Microbiologist for local company Crown Technology, joins us to talk about the science behind a very everyday item – canned food! There is more to canned food than simply metal containers…Microbiology and other sciences play a major role in ensuring the safety of canned food. Bryan will explore the process behind canning food, with an emphasis on microbiology and other interesting areas!
Tuesday 10th Feb 2015
Catalytic Science for the Future
Dr Josie Goodall joins us to talk about Catalysis – a process at the core of today’s and tomorrow’s science research and industry. Catalysis is helping deliver new fuels from bio fuels to Hydrogen, helping make more efficient batteries, solving rising Carbon Dioxide levels, dealing with pollution and finding more efficient cleaner routed to existing chemicals. Catalysis is a core area of contempory science posing major fundamental and conceptual challenges, while being at the heart of the chemical industry – an immensley successful and important part of the overall UK economy (generating in excess of £50bn each year)