Tune In to Science Oxford for 2019
Friday 18th January 2019
The arctic winds are circling and the central heating is maxed out so why not stay in, switch off Brexit, snuggle up on the sofa and be ‘The Best We Can Be’ with razor-sharp topics picked from the 2019 Science Oxford events programme!
This winter we’ll be tackling hot-off-the-press topical themes such as NHS reform and emergency response in the UK with the top man himself, Prof Keith Willett CBE, plus we’ll be Tuning In to the debate around magic mushrooms in treating depression with medicinal trial expert Dr Robin Carhart-Harris – and we’ll be discovering why Trump was voted in as US President with TV presenter, writer and astrobiologist Lewis Dartnell as he launches new book Origins – How the Earth Made us. Find out more below..
If bracing fresh air is your thing, why not join the Oxford Conservation Volunteers (OCV) led Conservation Day at Stansfeld Park on Sunday 3rd February? Stansfeld is home to our new Science Oxford Centre, which opens later this year, so this is a great chance to get a preview of the development and help to rejuvenate the 15 acres of woodland, ponds and grassland on which the new centre sits. We’ll be constructing hand rails, marking out paths through the woodland and generally spring cleaning ahead of the opening of this fantatstic new resource for schools and the community. As usual, we’ll keep a bonfire going to warm hearts and minds throughout the day, plus provide hot drinks and biscuits.
Our Science on Your Doorstep series, where we shine a spotlight on fascinating people living and working in Headington, is back on 5th February at St Andrew’s Primary School. We’ll be welcoming the eminent surgeon Professor Keith Willett, Medical Director for Acute Care and Emergency Preparedness to NHS England and Professor of Orthopaedic Trauma Surgery at the University of Oxford, who will giving us an insight into his role in transforming the NHS, terrorism, trauma surgery and much, much more.
We’ll be taking a very different approach to health care with our latest Ultimate Picture Palace screening Magic Medicine on the 6th. Over 4 years, filmmaker Monty Wates was given exclusive access to the first ever medical trial to give psilocybin (the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms) to a group of volunteers suffering from clinical depression. His remarkable film follows three of the volunteers and their families, and the ambitious staff running the trial, who are hoping this controversial treatment will have the power to transform millions of lives. As always, the film will be followed by a Q&A with an expert in the field, this time Dr Carhart-Harris, who is Head of Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London, who features in the documentary.
All the lab’s a stage, and nowhere more so than at FameLab 2019! This popular competition brings together the brave and the bold, the hilarious and awe-inspiring – a gang of scientists, medics, computer engineers, teachers (and more) who are so enthusiastic they just don’t know when to stop. But stop they will, as each contestant has just three minutes on the FameLab stage to charm and astonish you with their science-themed banter. There are over forty contestants taking part this year across three heats (11, 12 and 13th February) and tickets to come and watch are selling fast. And if you love the sound of the heats, the regional final will take place at the Wig & Pen, George Street on Wednesday 8th March 2019.
Pop pedant Kyle D Evans – former FameLab winner and award-winning musical comedian – is back on the 21st with the follow-up to his award-winning debut show BORN TO SUM (Best Stand-up, Swindon Fringe 2018). This time he’s casting a mathematical eye across popular culture and wondering whether there is a place for all this pedantry in a world seemingly going to hell in a handcart. Expect songs, mathematics, fiendish wordplay and weapons-grade pedantry.
And finally for February, Lewis Dartnell, another FameLab alumni, will be taking us billions of years into our planet’s past and describing the ultimate origin story. From the cultivation of the first crops to the founding of modern states, astrobiologist Lewis reveals the Earth’s awesome impact on the shape of human civilizations. Geological forces drove evolution in East Africa; mountainous terrain led to the development of the democracy in Greece; and today voting behaviour in the United States follows the bed of an ancient sea. So come along and find out How the Earth Made Us – and made Donald Trump the US president!
Our new programme aims to enlighten you, even during the darkest days of winter, so get the cocoa on and we’ll see you at one of our events very soon.