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PROGRAMME  2016-2017

Sept 7th 2016

Rev Anthony Priddis

Thorium Uranium debate for Nuclear Power generation

Anthony is firmly of the view that Thorium is a far greener and better nuclear fuel than uranium and has the potential to meet the world's energy needs in the future. In his presentation he will explain why, and how thorium can be used in Molton Salt Reactors.

Oct 5th 2016


Dr Naylor Firth

Shipbuilding on the River Wye

The long tradition of shipbuilding on the Wye culminated with the Government taking over an existing yard in Chepstow in 1917 to create National Shipyard No 1. 20 ships were built there with displacements up to 6,500 tons, the last in 1923.
This illustrated talk will review the build-up to the Yard's formation and the history of the vessels launched there.


Nov 2nd 2016

Mark Gibbons

Why are things as they are and not otherwise

took Tycho Brahe's data (literally) and put the Sun-centric cosmos model we have today on a scientific footing. But there is much more to the story of this man who battled against such adversity to achieve what he did. He was surprisingly wide ranging, providing scientific insights along the way to many items ranging from snowflakes to wine barrels, solving problems by inventing a number of mathematical tools still we use today.

Dec 7th 2016

Dr Keith Moseley

Measuring the Universe, from Greek - Roman times to Present.

Aristarchus of Samos
 (c.310–c.230bc) measured the distance of the Sun and Moon to the Earth nearly two millennia before Copernicus, since then there have been other opinions and cultural beliefs that have shaped the then current view of our Universe

Jan 11th 2017

Note 2nd Wednesday in Jan

         David Fletcher

 Citizen Science in the Antarctic / South Atlantic


Citizens, (or tourists) are in particular being invited by august scientific establishments to participate in a wide variety of Science Projects, whilst enjoying the splendour of these remote areas. 

Feb 1st 2017

Ella Young

New geochemical data for the Old Red Sandstone of Herefordshire.
My talk will summarise ongoing research for the project ‘A Thousand Years of Building With Stone’. The aim of the project is to link stone buildings to specific quarries – which has proven to be easier said than done. One of the biggest challenges was to distinguish one sandstone from another. Scientific analysis (XRF chemical analysis and thin sections) has been done on some of the local stones in Herefordshire to critically assess subtle difference in Old Red Sandstone.

March 1st 2017

Dr Jean-Luc SolandtMarine

Biology graduate, university of Liverpool 1992; years internship on Great Barrier Reef, particularly studying coral reef and reef fish ecology, breeding and evolution (1992-1993); Jamaican research into ecology of coral reefs affected by herbivore die-off (1994-1998); coordination of field science programmes for expeditions in developing countries (1999-2002); Marine Protected Areas advocacy, research, monitoring, legal challenge; basking shark spatio-temporal trend research; policy, law and ecological planning of biodiversity recovery mechanisms at sea; co-ordinator of citizen science programmes in the Maldives and Oman (2002-present)

Pink Sea Fans (Eunicella verrucosa) as Indicators of the Spatial Efficacy of Marine Protected Areas in Southwest UK Coastal Waters

Recent studies have demonstrated the utility of integrating ‘citizen science’ data into mainstream scientific analysis, particularly where broad-scale spatial patterns of distribution are required.
The pink seafan coral Eunicella verrucosa grows attached to ‘hard’ substrate, and therefore acts as a surrogate for the distribution of rocky reef, or reef-associated biotopes. The UK and Ireland volunteer diver programme ‘Seasearch’ has been recording the distribution of the pink seafan for over a decade throughout Irish, Welsh and southwest English coasts.

April 5th 2017

Fraser McNeil-Watson

Casting Light on the Nano World

I am employed by Malvern Instruments now known as Malvern Panalytical since our (very) recent merger with the X ray spectroscopy company formerly part of Philips. We are part of the Spectris PLC group of companies. Now working part time after more than 30 years in the business of design and manufacture of analytical instrument

The design and manufacture of analytical instruments used in the characterisation of dispersions of fine particles. This area has become known as nanotechnology in recent years though it was previously known as colloid science.  Properties such as particle size, electric potential and viscosity all affect the behaviour of dispersions, and are important in the wide area of applications that will be discussed. These arise in industries ranging from minerals and mining through to pharmaceutical products. Apart from introducing the areas of use I will focus on the measurement techniques that are in use.