Hampstead Scientific Society Programme 2021-22
Extra Information

Lecture Meetings will be held by Zoom OR at St John's Church. They will be by Zoom until at least the end of June 2022.
All meetings are on THURSDAYS at 8:15pm.
Members of the public are invited: for Zoom talks, Zoom invitations are available for those not in the Society: send an email with HSS Talk in the subject line to info@hampsteadscience.ac.uk before a meeting to get an invitation.

Date Subject (Standard Info) Speaker
Thurs 16 Sept 2021
8:15 pm
The Antikythera Cosmos
Prof. Tony Freeth & Dr Adam Wojcik
(University College London)
Thurs 21 Oct.
8:15 pm
Neutrinos in Antarctica
What are neutrinos? Why are they interesting? Why go to Antarctica to try and find them? Do we do it on a balloon or at the bottom of hole? Why do we need a detector that is over a million cubic kilometres?
These questions and more will be addressed in this talk about the hunting for neutrinos in Antarctica. Featuring experiments at the bottom of the Earth and far above it.
Prof Ryan Nichol
(University College London)
Thurs 18 Nov
8:15 pm
Hydrometallurgy and its Application to Reduce The Environmental Impact in Mining and Production of Metals
The general principles and main characteristics of hydrometallurgical processes will be presented and its potential role in reducing the environmental impact in the mining and metals industry will be outlined. Some cases of application in the production of copper and lithium will be described and discussed.
Prof. Tomás Vargas
(University of Chile)
Thurs 9 Dec
Thurs 16 Dec

8:15 pm
The Chemistry of Christmas
The talk aims to give the viewer an appreciation of the chemistry behind all the festive favourites – the formation of snow, the scent of a Christmas tree, the combustion of wooden logs, the taste of good quality wine and food, the cooking of the turkey etc.
Dr. Kevin Devine
(HSS and London Metropolitan University)
Thurs 20 Jan 2022
8:15 pm
GPS and Other Flora and Fauna
GPS must rank as one of the most commonly used inventions but very few people know how it works. Simple in principle, but massively complicated in practice, the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) of which GPS is a part, is an essential part of modern infrastructure. But how does it work? And what happens when it does not work? That’s what this lecture is about.
Prof. Richard Harvey
(Gresham College and University of East Anglia)
Thurs 17 Feb
8:15 pm
A History of the Fossil Fish Collections at the Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum's fossil fish collection contains approximately 100,000 specimens, has been amassed from all corners of the globe and spans approximately 450 million years with a broad taxonomic scope.
Between 1836 to 1884 the Museum acquired thirty-eight major collections containing fossil fish. Then in 1882 Sir Arthur Smith Woodward joined the Museum and recognised the significance of the Fossil Fish Collection and almost immediately devoted all of his time and efforts into the study of fossil fish, culminating in the four-part Catalogue of the Fossil Fishes in the British Museum (Natural History) published between 1889 and 1901. Woodward went on to describe nearly 320 type specimens, the majority held in the Museum. Over the next 115 years the collections have expanded considerably through donations and expeditions while techniques were developed to prepare the fossils.
The collections are still heavily used by researchers from around the world today and we are actively adding to the collection. Current curatorial projects involve digitising and the enhancement of associated data of some of these historical collections. The talk will cover some of the key acquisitions to the collection and the work of those associated with it over the last 200 years.
Emma Bernard
(Natural History Museum)
Thurs 17 Mar
8:15 pm
Air Pollution and Climate Change in a Post Pandemic World
Our Earth’s atmosphere is essential for life on the planet, and changes to its composition present significant environmental concerns. Issues such as poor air quality and climate change affect all of us and result in part from human activity and resultant atmospheric emissions. Awareness of such issues has led to actions to mitigate pollution. However, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns in early 2020 marked a huge and rapid change in human behaviour, with profound reductions in activities that cause atmospheric pollution. The resulting changes to our atmosphere’s composition provide great insight into the response of this ecosystem to changes in human activity and may provide some indicators for environmental changes in the future.
This talk will review the state of our knowledge on atmospheric composition, from history to the present day, with particular reference to the issues of air quality and greenhouse gas abundance. It will then explore some recent findings from Covid-19 lockdowns and the insight they provide into the mechanisms and therefore prospect of atmospheric and environmental change in the future.
Dr David Rowley
(University College London)
Thurs 21 Apr
8:15 pm
Animal Research and the 3Rs
The use of animals in scientific research and testing is a highly controversial issue and people often disagree on whether this is necessary, useful, or justified, and to what extent non-animal alternatives are available. The UK National Centre for the Three Rs (NC3Rs) was set up to help scientists replace their use of animals and, where this is not possible, reduce the number of animals used and refine the care of the animals to keep pain and suffering to a minimum. There are many ways to achieve these aims, which are known collectively as the 3Rs. In his talk, Dr Elliot Lilley from the NC3Rs will give an overview of the ethical debate surrounding this issue, the legislative framework that regulates animal research and testing in the UK and the work of the NC3Rs.
Dr Elliot Lilley
Thurs 19 May
8:15 pm
Mars Missions: Latest Results and Plans
Are we alone in the Universe? With missions to Mars, and outer planet moons, we hope to find out.
We live in an exciting time for Mars exploration. In 2021, 3 international missions arrived at Mars – the UAE's Hope, China's Tianwen-1 and NASA's Perseverance rover, making a total of 11 in operation at Mars. Perseverance landed in Jezero crater on 18 February, to look for signs of life near the surface. It carried the Ingenuity helicopter, which undertook the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. Perseverance will cache samples on the Martian surface, for return to Earth via NASA-ESA missions in 2026-2028, with return in 2031. The UK is building the ‘sample fetch’ rover.
The launch window for the next Mars mission, the ESA Rosalind Franklin rover is delayed from 2022, but we hope it will be launched later this decade. The rover was built in the UK, and the scientific ‘eyes’, PanCam, are led from UCL-MSSL. Rosalind Franklin will, for the first time, drill 2m below the harsh Martian surface, to look for signs of past life on Mars.
We will discuss why Mars is a key target for space exploration, look at some of the early results from the 2021 missions in context from earlier missions, and outline our hopes for PanCam and the Rosalind Franklin rover.
Prof. Andrew Coates
(Mullard Space Science Laboratory)
Thurs 16 June

Thurs 28 July
8:00 pm
AGM by Zoom

For further details of HSS Meetings please e-mail: info@hampsteadscience.ac.uk

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Last updated  11-Jun-2022