April 2020 Scibar

An introduction to Machine Learning (commonly known as Artificial Intelligence)

Speaker: Paul Roberts, a Management Consultant.
Date: 20th April 2020

Paul Roberts is a Management Consultant who advises Banks, especially international Investment Banks on this exciting and very topical subject of Machine Learning, or Artificial Intelligence as many call it.

It has been around as a concept for over 50 years but over the past 10 years it has just exploded in power, capability and real implementations. So much so, many of you will interact with real Machine Learning solutions several times a day, quite possibly without realising it.

In this talk, Paul will take you through several key aspects of the Machine Learning story, e.g. history, why now, Machine Learning you use today, how does it work/key algorithms, ethics, the future, how to learn more, etc.”

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March 2020 Scibar

Beyond The Fringe: Astronomy with Invisible Light

Speaker: Professor Gary Davis
Date: 9th March 2020 at 18:30

Astronomy is based on the detection and analysis of light we receive from objects in the sky. Progress in our understanding of the universe comes through advances in light-detection technology: we continue to build bigger and more sensitive telescopes in order to address challenging problems and discover new phenomena.

For more than 30 years, the UK operated two observatories at the summit of Maunakea on the island of Hawaii: the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope and the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope. Both telescopes observe the heavens using forms of light that cannot be seen with the naked eye. In this talk I will describe why we do this challenging type of astronomy, why we go to places like Maunakea to do it, and what we achieved there. Along the way I will also reflect on the importance of astronomy for understanding our place in the Universe, and why science is such a powerful approach to understanding the world in which we live.

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September Scibar

Images from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST)

The HST has been in orbit around the Earth since 1990.
Since it’s launch it has gotten through a number of phases, but it has provided some of the most momentous images of our own Milky Way Galaxy, other galaxies and the cosmos.
This talk covers the background efforts to turn an astronomer’s idea into reality, some of the engineering that makes the HST work and most of all the date and images it has provided to us.
These have enlightened our knowledge and understanding of space and provided us with views that after nearly 30 years are only now being equalled by other imaging systems.

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January Scibar: Seeing sounds: how we make sense of a multisensory world

Date: Monday 13th January 2020
Speaker: Dr Clare Jonas.

“Seeing sounds: how we make sense of a multisensory world”

The brain can do some incredibly complex things like plotting novels, calculating rocket trajectories and keeping us balanced on bikes. But it also does some amazing things that we don’t even notice most of the time, like sorting out the massive amount of sensory information we encounter every day to make a coherent account of what the world is like.

In this talk, we’ll play some games that illustrate how the brain manages this feat (don’t worry, you won’t call you up on stage), as well as learning about what happens when you lose a sense, what the world is like for people with different ways of integrating the senses like synaesthesia, and how to fool wine buffs with food dye.

Dr Clare Jonas used to be a psychology researcher, but is now a science communicator. In her spare time, she writes That Thinking Feeling, a blog which explores how psychology can answer everyday questions like why we have superstitions and how songs get stuck in our heads.

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Periodic Table scarecrows at Bollington Festival are go!

As part of the Bollington Festival 2019, local primary schools, guide and brownie groups, busiensses and residents have come together to create a Scarecrow Trail throughout the town from 10 to 27 May.

The trail is supported by the Royal Society of Chemistry and celebrates the International Year of the Periodic Table. Each scarecrow represents an element in the Periodic Table. There are scarecrows from hydrogen (atomic number 1), to oganesson (atomic number 118) but not all in between!

The trail is described here, where there is also a map showing the locations of all the scarecrows. Come and find them all! If you’re coming to SciBar or any event in the festival marquee you could start at Bollington Brewery who have created a scarecrow (copper) at the brewery on Adlington Road. There’s also carbon in the beer garden at the Vale Inn, and neon at the Adlington Road playground

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October: Of flies and men – how research on tiny insects revolutionised biology and medicine

Date: Monday 4th October
Speaker: Professor Andreas Prokop and Sanjai Patel -Faculty of Biology, Medicine & Health School of Biology

Of flies and men: how research on tiny insects revolutionised biology and medicine

Although the common ancestors of fruit flies and humans lived ~500 million years ago, discoveries made in these tiny insects led to 6 Nobel Prizes in Medicine & Physiology. We will explore the history of fruit fly research and explain how it has had such an important impact. We will demonstrate why funding this kind of research continues to be an efficient and economically responsible strategy to drive discovery processes in the biomedical sciences.

link: http://www.flyfacility.manchester.ac.uk/forthepublic

Talk begins 6.30pm prompt at the Vale Inn, Adlington Road, Bollington.
All welcome, no charge. Arrive early to be sure of a seat.

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November: How the Immune System affects Brain Disease

Date: Monday 11th November
Speaker: Prof David Brough, School of Biological Sciences at University of Manchester.

How the Immune System affects Brain Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Globally there are currently 50 million people with dementia and this is predicted to increase to 152 million by 2050. There is no effective treatment. The Brough lab works to understand how the immune system affects the progression of dementia. The immune system protects the body against infection. However, as we age our control of our immune responses becomes less and inappropriate immune activation during disease can actually cause a disease to become worse. This is the case in Alzheimer’s disease. Through understanding the immune mechanisms at play we can learn how to target and manipulate them and try to develop new ways of treating dementia

Begins 6.30pm prompt at the Vale Inn, Adlington Road, Bollington. All welcome, no charge. Arrive early to be sure of a seat.

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July: Solar Energy and its journey from the centre of the Sun to your electric kettle

Date: Monday 8th July
Speaker: Prof George King, The Photon Science Institute from the University of Manchester

Solar Energy and its journey from the centre of the Sun to your electric kettle

The amount of solar energy received by planet Earth in one hour is as much energy as the whole of civilization uses in one year. We have the job of harvesting this renewable energy as effectively and efficiently as possible. In this presentation, solar energy will be described from its birth in the centre of the Sun through its journey to Earth to the harnessing of this energy by various technologies. This involves a wide range of physical principles from nuclear fusion to radiation physics and thermodynamics. Ways in which solar energy can be stored when the Sun is not shining will also be described.

Begins 6.30pm prompt at the Vale Inn, Adlington Road, Bollington. All welcome, no charge. Arrive early to be sure of a seat.

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May: Bollington Festival talk: James Chadwick and the Discovery of the Neutron

Tuesday May 21, 7.30pm
Bollington Cross School, Bollington Road, Bollington, SK10 5EG

Free event during the Bollington Festival.

Dr Peter Rowlands of University of Liverpool Physics Department and a member of the Institute of Physics history group talks about the Nobel laureate from Bollington who discovered the neutron.

The most important advances in physical science of the early 20th century were related to the atomic nucleus and the quantum atom. Manchester scientists played major roles in these discoveries. James Chadwick (Nobel prize in 1935 for discovery of the neutron) went to Bollington Cross School and the school has a blue plaque.

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March SciBar: A Ranger’s Perspective

11 March 2019
We welcome Ed Pilkington, a Cheshire East Ranger. Ed says:
The talk will be about how the ranger service manage their sites and specific habitats, I will be looking at the Middlewood Way, Poynton Coppice, Jacksons Brickworks and Lindow Common.

Talk starts promptly at 6.30pm, arrive early to be sure of a seat.
All welcome, no charge.

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