Sharpen your interest and knowledge of science in an informal and friendly atmosphere. This is an opportunity for all members of the public to meet practicing scientists. Take part in the free debate/discussion while enjoying food and drinks from the Showroom café bar.
Monday 6th October 2014 – 7.00 pm
'Unravelling the chaos in turbulence'
Dr Ashley Willis, School of of Mathematics & Statistics, University of Sheffield
Turbulence exhibits chaotic changes in the speed and direction of fluid flow -- this will be familiar if you've experienced turbulence during a flight! Turbulence is a big problem in many applications, where substantial energy is often wasted in the creation of these chaotic motions, for example in aerodynamics, and very much so in the pumping of oil and water. Although studies of turbulence date back to the 1880s much of our theoretical understanding has developed only within the last decade.
In this talk Dr Willis will explain to non-mathematicians how this progress has been made possible, drawing links between the dynamics of turbulence and chaotic systems such as the 'double pendulum'. Ashley Willis is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to identify the fundamental repeating patterns underlying turbulence.
Monday 3rd November 2014 – 7.00 pm
'Blobs on the Brain’
Aisling Spain, Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield
We’ve become familiar with news reports with titles like “Brain region X is activated in response to chocolate” but we’re less familiar with the MRI techniques used in these studies. Our understanding of the physiology behind the MRI is not as good as those news reports suggest and interpreting MRI results is an area fraught with difficulty. I’ll describe some of my work investigating the physiology underlying MRI and discuss the ways in which researchers are tackling the investigation of these complex physiological processes. This is a young and exciting field that may help us investigate brain disease as well as telling us why those media stories need to be treated with caution.
Monday 1st December 2014 – 7.00 pm
‘Averting Comfortable Lifestyle Crises’
Prof Rod Bilton, School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, author of the book 'Know What to Eat'.
Prof Bilton says that for at least 3 millenia people have noted the association of inappropriate diets with increased incidence of illness. Anthropological studies in the mid C19 revealed that humans can survive and thrive in the virtual absence of dietary carbohydrate. The industrialisation of food processing in the C20 has led to increases in palatability and digestibility with a parallel loss of quality leading to overconsumption and the current obesity epidemic. The epidemic is compounded by, amongst other things, the addictive properties of sugar which involve the same dopamine receptors in the pleasure centres of the brain as cocaine, nicotine and alcohol.
Does a study of our eating habits over time point to an optimum, healthy diet? Is there a role for fasting? If you want to stay healthy, come along and find out.