Science

September 2014 Newsletter

We are a group discussing many aspects of science, both of general interest and of academic interest. Recent talks include one on mining and properties of tungsten by Jim Schierbaum; this was followed by a discussion on scientific methods led by Geoff Bagley and a talk on the second law of thermodynamics by Jim Turner.

The future programme is exciting. Do come along and sample our wares.

Wednesday 3 September Faraday by Brian Tuck
Wednesday 1 October The Scientific Revolution of the 17th Century by Edward Armour
Wednesday 5 November The Brain by Ian Howarth
Meetings start at 10.00am

Jim

June 2014 Newsletter

The Science Group continues to flourish with some very lively debates. In March, Jim introduced the topic of Evolution, including the evidence for descent from a common ancestor, and its mechanism of natural selection. He followed this up in April with a discussion on Creationism, i.e. the view that Evolution depended on an Intelligent Designer; most of the group agreed that this is not necessary. In an extra session in April, Ian Howarth presented his view that the idea of evolution is applicable to a much wider field than biology – this produced some lively arguments. In May we heard from Jim Schierbaum about the mining and chemistry of tungsten in an industrial context. This will be followed in June with an introduction by Geoff Bagley to the methods of science. Other topics in the offing include: Michael Faraday; 17th century science; (perhaps) a down to earth talk on the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. The discussions do not require any detailed knowledge of science, and we would welcome new members, so join us on the first Wednesday of the month at 10am, Epworth Room at CRMC

Jim and Graham

March 2014 Newsletter

The Science Group has now had five lively meetings. In the December one on Global Warming and Climate Change, Jim claimed that the warming is certainly happening and that it will probably lead to climate change; most of the members seemed to agree with this. In January Geoff Bagley gave an elegant talk on the way in which the universe has some very finely tuned properties; a minute change in any one of these would not have allowed the earth or life to exist. The reason for this fine-tuning is open to different interpretations. In February Jim introduced a discussion on the Origin of Life. Life is extremely complicated. In a single celled organism it involves metabolism and reproduction, both contained in a membrane. How this came about is still a great mystery although there are some interesting speculations. In the next two meetings Jim will discuss evolution, followed by some sessions on what science is all about. We meet on the first Wednesday in the Epworth Room at 10.00; some members have suggested we meet more often. Interestingly we need more ladies to balance the sexes!

Jim and Graham

21 December 2013

There will be no meeting of the science group on the 1st January, but we will meet on the 8th January at the CRMC when Geoff Bagley will tell us about the fine tuning of the universe and the multiverse.  There is much discussion amongst Astronomers, Philosophers and Theologians about this subject.  All welcome.

December 2013 Newsletter

The new Science Group has got off to a good start. The aim is to have half an hour presentations followed by half an hour of discussion. Topics will vary widely, involving matters of interest to the public and also some of fundamental science. It is hoped that members of the group will be able to present items of interest to them. The first two meetings have featured lively discussions on GM crops and Nuclear Power. The next meeting will be on Global Warming and Climate Change led by Jim. The meeting in January will be on Wednesday 8th not 1st, and will be led by Geoff Bagley on Fine Tuning (of the constants of the Universe) and Multiverses; this is a topic of great philosophical interest.

Jim and Graham