Speaker: Professor Lee Cronin FRSE FRSC, Regius Chair of Chemistry, School of Chemistry, University of Glasgow.
Read summary report of Professor Cronin's lecture on Removing the Fossil from the Fuel
Humanity depends upon fossil carbon, but with CO2 levels above 400 parts per million, the race is on to develop cleaner energy systems. There is a need to aim for new methods of energy storage, the conversion of wind and sunlight to fuel, and atmospheric CO2 fixation-activation. Solutions must not only be cheap and scalable, they must also be socially and politically acceptable if human life is going to prosper beyond the end of this century. In this lecture, Professor Cronin described his work at the fundamental, device, and system level to explore new routes to solar-fuels.
Today Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell, DBE FRS PRSE MRIA, President, Royal Society of Edinburgh, is known as one of the most influential scientists in the UK. But getting there was not easy. From girls not being taught science at her secondary school to being greeted to university by rooms full of howling men, her journey is one fraught with resistance. Her discovery of radio pulsars in 1967, as a young researcher at Cambridge, pays testament to her dogged pursuit of the truth and remains one of the most significant astronomical discoveries of the last 100 years. She discussed her incredible career, as well as her thoughts on the future of science and its place in society in conversation with Andrew Cohen, Head of Science at the BBC.
Speaker: Professor Richard G M Morris CBE FRS FRSE, Professor of Neuroscience, University of Edinburgh
Read the summary report of Professor Morris' talk on The Making, Keeping and Losing of Memory
Memory is fundamental to human life. 2014 has been a special year in which ‘remembrance’ has been on people’s minds as they reflect on the momentous events of 100 years ago. Our everyday use of memory is, of course, very different although it also is changing with so many aspects of human knowledge now available on the internet. Using the themes of the ‘making, keeping and losing’ of memory, this lecture will offer examples of how the brain mediates memory. Professor Morris will try a few experiments with the audience – to see how everyone shapes up – and discuss some of the ongoing research aimed at better understanding how memory works. He will also consider the loss of personal memory, which remains greatly feared. The inability to recollect the events of our life can develop from a minor irritation to a condition that undermines normal existence – notably in Alzheimer’s Disease.