The recent meeting of our Science Group covered a wide range of topics. Firstly, we looked at Energy in the UK, which has recently become very topical and discussed widely, because of the conflict in Ukraine, which threatens the security of our energy supplies, and also the whole of Western Europe.
In particular, we looked at proposals for generating energy from water power, and the possibilities for a barrage on the River Severn, which was first proposed over 100 years ago.
Members of the group then heard from each other about notable ‘Women in Science’, which they had researched since the last meeting. Two of these women were: Rosalind Franklin, who was instrumental in the early research work on DNA in the early 1950s, and Rachel Carson, who campaigned in the USA against the use of the insecticide DDT. What was notable about these women was that they were largely unrecognized in their time, reflecting attitudes in the 1940s and 1950s.
Finally, we heard about how the importance of Maths gets overlooked, illustrated by the best-selling book ‘Humble Pi – When Math Goes Wrong in the Real World’. Maths is easy to ignore until a misplaced decimal point upends the stock market, a unit conversion error causes a plane to crash, or someone divides by zero and stalls a battleship in the middle of the ocean. Some thought-provoking topics.
Our next meeting will be on Friday, 17th June, 2022.
We have a guest speaker Mick Leivers from CAST who are based in Newstead Village. Mick will be talking about the background to the development of Newstead and Annesley Country Park and their work with vulnerable children who they engage in various land based skills and activities.
After the break there is an opportunity for group members who have still to talk about their woman scientist to give their presentation.