In-person Lecture Upcoming event Booking Recommended

The Milky Way Galaxy - from beginning to end - Professor Gerry Gilmore - Larmor Lecture

Professor Gerry Gilmore

10

Oct

2022

  • 18:30 - 19:30
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Lecture Theatre

What we call the Milky Way, our Galaxy, has been the focus of myth, story and study in every society with a recorded history for millennia. Understanding its structure defeated Isaac Newton. One hundred years ago it was realized that the Milky Way is just one amongst a Universe of galaxies. With electronics, digital systems, and spacecraft we have learned how to measure the structure and assembly history of the Milky Way Galaxy over its 13 billion year history, even identifying ancient stars from the earliest proto-structures to form. We quantify the formation of the chemical elements over time and their distribution in space. We use dynamics to weigh the unseen. We can calculate the future of the Milky Way until it ends its existence as an isolated Galaxy, merging with Andromeda some 5 billion years from now, and the death of the Sun a few billion years after that. This lecture will tell that story. 

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In-person Lecture Upcoming event Booking Recommended

Banks, Bunkers, and Backup: Securing Crop Diversity from the Cold War through the Internet Age

Professor Helen Anne Curry

24

Oct

2022

  • 18:30 - 19:30
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Lecture Theatre

Present-day efforts to preserve endangered crop varieties emphasize "safety duplication"—a strategy better known as backup—as an essential step in conservation. Important collections of seeds or other plant genetic materials are copied, in whole or part, and sent to physically distant sites to provide security in the case of local disaster. This talk traces the history of seed banking to understand how, why and with what consequences copying collections came to occupy this central place. The intertwined histories of the central long-term seed storage facility of the United States (opened in 1958) and the international seed conservation system developed in the 1970s reveal how changing conceptions of security, linked to changing economic, political and technological circumstances, transformed both the guiding metaphors and the practices of seed conservation. Seed banking gave way to seed backup: whereas early long-term cold storage facilities vested security in robust infrastructures and the capacities of professional staff, between the 1960s and 1990s, this configuration gave way to one in which security was situated in copies rather than capacities. This history ultimately raises questions about the security promised and achieved through present-day infrastructures for crop genetic resources conservation.

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In-person Lecture Upcoming event Booking Recommended

Cambridge Darwins in Conversation

Paula Darwin, Professor Roger Keynes and Dr Claire Barlow. Chaired by Dr Alison Pearn.

31

Oct

2022

  • 18:00 - 19:30
  • Murray Edwards College - Buckingham House Conference Centre

Paula Darwin, Professor Roger Keynes and Dr Claire Barlow. Chaired by Dr Alison Pearn. 

Three Cambridge-based direct descendants of Charles Darwin will reflect on how family connections have influenced their lives and their scientific careers. Paula Darwin is working for her PhD on obesity; Professor Roger Keynes is a neuroscientist; Dr Claire Barlow is a materials engineer. The conversation will be chaired by Dr Alison Pearn, Associate Director of the Darwin Correspondence Project.
 

A drinks reception will follow afterwards.

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In-person Lecture Upcoming event Booking Recommended

The Protected Brain: Neurogenesis Under Stress - Dr Alex Gould - A V Hill Lecture

Dr Alex Gould

07

Nov

2022

  • 18:30 - 19:30
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Lecture Theatre

It is estimated that 1 in 7 babies worldwide are born with low birth weight. In the majority of cases this is due to maternal malnutrition leading to intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). Unless severe, IUGR is not life-threatening but it can affect metabolic health during adulthood. Interesting work on IUGR in the 1960s showed that the brain often scales down much less than other developing organs. This change in body proportions reflects a survival strategy called brain sparing, whereby the process that generates neurons (neurogenesis) is highly tolerant of malnutrition. Nevertheless, sparing is not perfect and can be associated with long-term neurological consequences. Brain sparing is shared across evolution, from humans to Drosophila fruit flies, and significant progress has been made in pinpointing its underlying protective mechanisms. Key advances have shown how the metabolism of neural stem cells, the cells driving neurogenesis, is well adapted to the stresses of malnutrition and hypoxia. New instruments for imaging metabolism with single-cell resolution now promise a step change in our understanding of brain sparing during IUGR and how it might best be treated.

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In-person Lecture Upcoming event Booking Recommended

Professor Jim Secord - Eureka! How the history of science became a story of discovery.

Professor Jim Secord

21

Nov

2022

  • 18:30 - 19:30
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Lecture Theatre

Inspired moments of discovery are widely seen as the central story of science. Great discoveries are often assumed to involve a single moment of insight, made by an individual genius working in isolation. How did this view of discovery become established? The most common expression associated with scientific discovery in the European tradition is 'Eureka', meaning 'I have found it’. This talk uses the history of 'Eureka' to chart changing views of discovery and its role within science.
 

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