Tag "Science Cafe"

  • Science Cafe, Wednesday 21st March – Molecular Gastronomy

    The Swansea Science Café offers opportunities for anyone to find out more about new, exciting and topical areas of science. Designed to be informal and entertaining, entry is free and talks start at 7:30 pm at the Dylan Thomas Centre.

    Molecular Gastronomy: the science of taste and flavour

    AttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by Sifu Renka

    Prof. Peter Barham, Bristol University

    Wednesday 21st March at 7:30pm

    What gives food its flavour?

    What makes some foods taste really good while others can be mediocre or even disgusting?

    How far can science go it answering these (and other) questions that are so important for domestic cooks and chefs alike?

    In this demonstration lecture I will try to answer these and other questions. Through a series of demonstrations and tastings you will discover that we actually use all our senses to assess the food we eat:

    • we use our eyes to see the colour, shape and size,
    • our ears to hear any sizzling, or crackling, etc.
    • our hands to feel the texture,
    • our tongues to sense the taste,
    • our noses to sense the aroma
    • and all the nerves in our mouths to assess the “mouthfeel”

    In practice, we. integrate all these sensations into what we call the “flavour” and then decide whether or not we like it. We will also see how collaborations between scientists and chefs are opening up new worlds of novel (and delicious) food and taste combinations.

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  • November Science Cafe – 30th

    The Swansea Science Café offers opportunities for anyone to find out more about new, exciting and topical areas of science. Designed to be informal and entertaining, the café typically runs on the last Wednesday of every month at the Dylan Thomas Centre. Entry is free and talks start at 7:30 pm.

     

    Life, death and the carotenoids

    George Truscott, Keele University, organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry

    Wednesday 30th Nov at 7:30 pm

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  • 5th November – Science Cafe

    The Swansea Science Café offers opportunities for anyone to find out more about new, exciting and topical areas of science. As part of the Swansea Science Café and the Dylan Thomas Festival, Peter Douglas has organized a hands-on workshop/talk on Sunlight to Electricity, funded by the National HE STEM Programme. The event is free, fun, interactive and suitable for all age ranges.

    From Sunlight to Electricity: How Mimicking Photosynthesis Promises a Greener Future

    Dr Matthew Davies, Bangor University, funded by the National HE STEM Programme

    Saturday 5th Nov at 11am

    Dylan Thomas Centre

    The generation of energy is one of the most important scientific and technological challenges that face humankind in the 21st century. If we take a metaphorical leaf from nature’s book; photosynthesis harvests sufficient solar energy to fuel the planet’s biosphere. Thus, photosynthesis can be thought of as a cheap, reliable, carbon neutral form of solar cell on an enormous scale. Dye sensitized solar cells (DSC) can be considered as a form of artificial photosynthesis because they operate in a similar way to photosynthesis.

    DSC can attain light-to-electrical energy conversion efficiencies of over 10% and raise hopes for clean, safe, economical solar energy conversion that work even in low-light conditions. DSC are therefore able to work under cloudy skies and indirect sunlight (perfect for Wales and the UK!); this is not possible with current solar cell technology which ceases to work efficiently below certain illumination levels. DSC are, in fact, so sensitive to light that they can be used indoors, collecting energy for small devices from the lighting in a house.

    The advantages of DSC, and how DSC can play a major part in a ‘greener’ future, will be discussed. Wales is currently at the forefront of science and innovation in DSC technology; some of the research that is driving this technology forward, which is happening here in Wales, will be highlighted.

     

    Hands-on experiments

    With iodine, fruit juice, and a few simple materials, you can create a working solar cell that mimics the process of photosynthesis. This lecture will also include a ‘hands-on’ workshop on how dye sensitised solar cells are made and will involve fabricating and testing solar cells with the before mentioned materials.

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  • October Science Cafe – 19th

    The Swansea Science Café offers opportunities for anyone to find out more about new, exciting and topical areas of science. Designed to be informal and entertaining, the café typically runs on the last Wednesday of every month at the Dylan Thomas Centre (note that the October Science Café is earlier due to the timing of the Dylan Thomas Festival). Entry is free and talks start at 7:30 pm

     

    Using stem cells to make food: Understanding ‘In Vitro Meat’

    Dr Neil Stephens, ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics, Cardiff University, organised by the Wales Gene Park

    Wednesday 19th Oct at 7:30 pm

    In a small number of laboratories around the world, scientists are using the techniques of stem cell science and regenerative medicine to grow cells taken from pigs and cows into muscle tissue for people to eat as meat. The technology is still in its early stages and some distance from being a commercial reality, yet it still opens up a range of questions for us all about how to understand this meat made without animal slaughter. Over the last year and a half, Neil Stephens – a sociologist from Cardiff University – has been interviewing the scientists and advocates at the forefront of developing this technology. During this session he will discuss his findings, explaining the current state-of-the-art in the field and exploring the social and ethical issues posed by this innovative intervention in what we might be eating in the future.

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  • May Science Cafe

    The Swansea Science Café offers opportunities for anyone to find out more about new, exciting and topical areas of science. Designed to be informal and entertaining, the café typically runs on the last Wednesday of every month at the Dylan Thomas Centre. Entry is free and talks start at 7:30 pm.

     

    Algae: Scum of the Earth

    Adam Powell & Bob Lovitt, Swansea University

    Wednesday 25th May at 7:30 pm

    This talk will explain what algae are, what they’ve done for the planet, and how we can use them – from providing unusual beauty products to help answering the global energy crisis.

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  • March Science Cafe – Brain Death and Organ Transplant

    The Swansea Science Café offers opportunities for anyone to find out more about new, exciting and topical areas of science. Designed to be informal and entertaining, the café typically runs on the last Wednesday of every month at the Dylan Thomas Centre. Entry is free and talks start at 7:30 pm.

     

    Brain death and organ transplantation

    Professor Steve Edwards, College of Health and Human Science, Swansea University

    Wednesday 30th March at 7:30 pm

    The talk will summarise the debate which has taken place since brain death was first defined in 1968 by the Ad hoc committee of the Harvard Medical School. It will provide the background to the 1968 definition, and then proceed to discuss two significant later definitions: ‘whole brain death’ which currently informs diagnosis of death in the USA, and ‘brain stem death’ which is the definition of death adopted in the UK. It will assess the strengths and weaknesses of each of these two definitions. The talk will then move on to discuss a radical critique of attempts to define human death by focussing on brain-related criteria.  The critique will be assessed together with its implications for the practice of organ donation. The talk provides an illustration of the way in which issues which might seem purely scientific are, in reality, underpinned by philosophical and ethical presumptions.

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  • March Science Cafe

    The Swansea Science Café offers opportunities for anyone to find out more about new, exciting and topical areas of science. Designed to be informal and entertaining, the café typically runs on the last Wednesday of every month at the Dylan Thomas Centre. Entry is free and talks start at 7:30 pm.

    Brain death and organ transplantation

    Professor Steve Edwards, College of Health and Human Science, Swansea University

    Wednesday 30th March at 7:30 pm

    The talk will summarise the debate which has taken place since brain death was first defined in 1968 by the Ad hoc committee of the Harvard Medical School. It will provide the background to the 1968 definition, and then proceed to discuss two significant later definitions: ‘whole brain death’ which currently informs diagnosis of death in the USA, and ‘brain stem death’ which is the definition of death adopted in the UK. It will assess the strengths and weaknesses of each of these two definitions. The talk will then move on to discuss a radical critique of attempts to define human death by focussing on brain-related criteria.  The critique will be assessed together with its implications for the practice of organ donation. The talk provides an illustration of the way in which issues which might seem purely scientific are, in reality, underpinned by philosophical and ethical presumptions.

    continue reading
  • February Science Cafe: Marine Toxins

    The Swansea Science Café offers opportunities for anyone to find out more about new, exciting and topical areas of science. Designed to be informal and entertaining, the café typically runs on the last Wednesday of every month at the Dylan Thomas Centre. Entry is free and talks start at 7:30 pm.

     

    Poisons from the sea – or when to avoid the fish course!

    Jim Ballantine, organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry

    Wednesday 23rd February at 7:30 pm

     

    Jim Ballantine is an analytical organic chemist who taught chemistry for 40 years at Swansea University.  During that time he became interested in marine organisms and was for a time Director of the Institute of Marine Studies at Swansea.

    His talk will provide a series of light-hearted case histories of selected marine toxins, which are some of the most poisonous materials known to mankind.  It will discuss their occurrence, the way in which these materials impinge on the folk-lore, local customs and dietary habits, and a little about their chemistry and mode of action, where this is known.

    The topics included for discussion will be selected from the following:

    1.         Puffer fish poisoning and how to choose a restaurant in Japan;

    2.         How to produce a zombie in Haiti;

    3.         What is Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning and where in the world you can catch it,

    4.         What is ciguatera, and how to avoid getting it when visiting the Polynesian islands;

    5.         How chemistry helped Polynesian islanders to make themselves invincible in battle;

    6.         Why no-one swims near Cairns in Queensland, Australia from September to March.

    1. Why not to pick up pretty snail shells near the Red Sea.
    2. How a green worm uses chemistry to control the sex of its children  -after their birth!;      
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  • January Science Cafe – Clocking on: The timing of your life!

    The Swansea Science Café offers opportunities for anyone to find out more about new, exciting and topical areas of science. Designed to be informal and entertaining, the café typically runs on the last Wednesday of every month at the Dylan Thomas Centre. Entry is free and talks start at 7:30 pm.

     

    Clocking on: The timing of your life!

    Sarah Forbes-Robertson, Swansea University, http://www.gcsesciencelive.net/  

    Wednesday 26th January at 7:30 pm

    Based at the School of Medicine, Dr Sarah Forbes-Robertson is a molecular biologist specializing in development, cancer and ageing. She is a FameLab finalist (http://famelab.org/halloffamelab.html 2006) and for this Science Café she will talk about sleep and the new system she has developed for analysing the genes that control our sleep patterns.

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  • November Science Cafe: Police DNA Database

    The Swansea Science Café offers opportunities for anyone to find out more about new, exciting and topical areas of science. Designed to be informal and entertaining, the café typically runs on the last Wednesday of every month at the Dylan Thomas Centre. Entry is free and talks start at 7:30 pm. For future events see http://www.sciencecafewales.org/.

     

    The Police DNA Database: An indispensible means to fighting crime or a threat to civil liberties?

    Steve Bain, Swansea University (Former member of the National DNA Database Ethics Group)

    Sponsored by the Wales Gene Park

    Wednesday 24th November at 7:30 pm

    Advances in DNA technology have revolutionised the way the police can protect the public. The creation of a Police DNA Database has helped them to identify offenders and secure convictions such as in the case of Sarah Payne. Crimes which had been previously unsolved for several years have now been solved. At present, a DNA sample is taken at a person’s arrest. However, the Home Office has recently announced that even if a person is not found guilty, their information will be held on the Database for a number of years. Some people believe that information from innocents should not be held on the Database. Others call for the DNA Database to include everyone living or visiting the UK. What do you think?

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