Hampstead Scientific Society Programme 2020-21
Extra Information

Due to the Covid-19 situation, Lecture Meetings will be held by Zoom until further notice.
All meetings are on THURSDAYS at 8:15pm.
Members of the public are invited: some Zoom invitations will be 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 17 Sept 2020
8:15 pm
Creating a virtual laboratory from LiDAR data

This talk discusses the use of a portable Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) instrument to gather 3D information about forest structure. We create a virtual forest model that we use to validate satellite vegetation products and estimate previously elusive tree properties.
Niall Origo
Thurs 15 Oct.
8:15 pm
Why do we use pesticides?

The talk will cover the history of insecticide use and development, the potential risks and benefits and alternatives to conventional chemistry. The speaker will go into some detail on the very public debate about one particular type of insecticides, the neonicotinoids, and their potential effects on bees. Including her views on how policy making can become skewed and doesn’t always use the best scientific evidence. Although she will try to make the case for using insecticides, she will also acknowledge that we should be using them in the most responsible way and trying to phase them out and find better alternatives to protect our crops without damaging non-target species and the wider environment. For this she will draw on examples of the work being done in her Department at Rothamsted, including biological control, biopesticides, the use of 'natural' chemicals, plant breeding and genetic manipulation.
Prof Linda M Field Hon FRES, FRSB
(Rothamsted Research)
Thurs 19 Nov
8:15 pm
Why we are living longer than ever before, and the discoveries that may allow us to live for hundreds of years

"The first person to live to be 1,000 years old is alive today" – Aubrey de Grey, biomedical gerontologist
For most of human history average lifespan has not exceeded 40 years. Average lifespan in the UK is now over 80. Our generation (COVID notwithstanding) is the healthiest, longest lived, best fed and safest that has ever lived. We can describe ageing but the mechanisms underlying the process are poorly understood. Research into ageing and the methods by which it can be slowed, stopped or reversed are now legitimate and mainstream. There is evidence to suggest that ‘curing’ ageing may be a viable approach to treating medical conditions associated with ageing, thus delaying death.
Dr David Goldhill
(formerly of the Royal London Hospital)
Thurs 10 Dec
8:15 pm
2019-20 AGM with Scientific Entertainment
Thurs 21 Jan 2021
8:15 pm
Treating Spinal Cord Injury using Biomedical Engineering Methods
*** DEFERRED TO NEXT SESSION *** and replaced by

Spaceborne Telescopes: The Past, Present and Future

The vastness of space never ceased to amaze and intrigue humanity. Space telescopes orbit the Earth in an effort to provide us with a better understanding of the cosmos. In this talk, you will discover how astronomers and engineers combined their skills to create powerful telescopes that enabled us to see space from another point of view.
Prof. Nick Donaldson
(University College London)

Spyridon Grammenos
(Surrey Satellites)
Thurs 18 Feb
8:15 pm
Pyrotechnics: Evolution of Energetic Materials
From bringing us into the New Year or to their vital use in construction, pyrotechnics and explosives have filled us with an excitement and unbridled joy for as long as people can remember. Scientists and scholars from all around the world have revolutionised the field since the first discoveries of gunpowder in 9th century China, Nobel's dynamite and to the ridiculous azidoazide azide of the 21st century. This talk will cover a brief history on the topic before moving onto the science that makes these incredible compounds and mixtures pop, and scientists' efforts to make them louder, more efficient, greener and, most importantly, safer. We will finish up with some of the more curious highlights chemists have dreamt up and synthesised in the past thirty years.
Dr. Ben Peerless
(Philipps-Universität Marburg)
Thurs 18 Mar
8:15 pm
Latest news from the CERN Large Hadron Collider
Off the Map – News from the Energy Frontier
The talk will explore our current state of knowledge of particle physics, the so called “Standard Model”, completed by the discovery of the Higgs Boson in 2012 at the CERN Large Hadron Collider. This gives us a map of the invisible world of subatomic physics. But what does the map reveal, and what lies beyond its limits, and how might we explore further?
Prof. Jonathan Butterworth
(University College London)
Thurs 15 Apr
Thurs 22 Apr

8:15 pm
TBD on Atmospheric Science
*** CANCELLED *** and replaced
Organic Chemistry – A Brief History

The talk will look in detail at the discoveries and experiments that lead to the development of this branch of chemistry from 1750-1850.
Dr. David Rowley
(University College London)

Dr. Kevin Devine
(HSS and London Metropolitan University)
Thurs 20 May
8:15 pm
The Quantum Kilogram in the Context of Measurements Through the Ages
In May 2019 the definition of a kilogram changed from being based on a unique cylinder of platinum-iridium alloy to one involving the fundamental constant of quantum physics, the Planck constant. This remarkable change is one of the final steps in the evolution of accurate measurement, which started in early times for simple trading purposes, and later formed a productive synergy of scientific progress and technological development, like Harrison’s clocks for navigation. The talk will give an outline history of measurement, and explain how the kilogram is now realised by measuring voltage and resistance in quantum units.
Dr Paul Quincey
(National Physical Laboratory retired)
Thurs 24 June
8:00 pm
2020-21 AGM + scientific entertainment

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

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Last updated  15-May-2021