Science Cafés

Science Cafés: September 17th is ON (-line)

7.30pm Thursday 17th September, on-line only, free to join

We are going ahead with the September 17th Science Café but as an on-line only event. However we will be using it to test out our capability to run blended in-person and on-line events in preparation for the Science Festival in November.

In traditional Science Café fashion there will be a 15 minute presentation followed by the opportunity for the audience members to ask questions, with a short break between the speakers.

Our first online Science Café will have two presentations:

  • Education for the 4th Industrial Revolution (e4i4)
    • Professor John Baruch, Visiting Professor Leeds Beckett University, Tsinghua University
    • The 4th Industrial Revolution will replace about 50% of UK jobs with robots using AI control systems either for talking to people and answering questions or for driving vehicles and everything in between.  Close human support tasks are impossible to robotise such as nursing or teaching but many others will go. Most importantly self-driving vehicles will completely change our cities and public transport. The cost of goods will continue to fall but the key challenge is developing the new economy with its new jobs and new types of work based on technological innovation and creativity. The talk will focus on how the under 28 year olds can rebuild their lives, and opportunities exploiting the unique situation they now find themselves in with the Tsunami of Covid 19.
    • Professor Baruch ran the first e4i4 workshop in Beijing with Tsinghua University (the Cambridge of China) and was developing a follow up with the Royal Society and the Parliamentary Education Committee but all that has stopped with the Covid 19 crisis. He works with University Centres in the UK, China and Africa to develop e4i4 in the different environments
  • Baby Talk – How connection in infancy supports connection throughout life
    • Dr Vivien Sabel, Senior Lecturer at Leeds Beckett University
    • Psychotherapist, Author, Lecturer, Filmmaker and Artist, Dr Sabel is attending the Science Café to share her learning regarding how understanding the language of infants has supported the development of a non-verbal communication model for use in clinical and everyday settings. Her ‘back story’ and educational journey are key to understanding the development of the model and have proved fascinating to audiences in both nationally and internationally.

Further information and tickets:

The Science Café will start at 7.30pm on September 17th.

As mentioned it is an on-line only event (our first!). It is free to attend the Café but you need to book to obtain the joining details. You can book for it via the Courthouse on-line booking system here

As we have said, there is no charge for joining us but it would be great if you could make a dontaion to the Courthouse if you do. You can do that here.

You can find Otley Courthouse at:

Otley Courthouse Arts Centre
Courthouse Street
West Yorks
LS21 3AN

01943 467466

You can email Otley Science Festival here:
or follow us on Twitter @otleyscience

2020’s first Science Café was on Thursday 12th March

Before everything closed down our topics for that evening were:

2019 Festival week Science Café was on Wednesday 13th

On this enjoyable evening we covered:

  • A civic plan for a climate emergency
    • Professor Paul Chatterton, School of Geography, University of Leeds
    • The climate emergency is a huge threat, but also a huge opportunity. Many people feel powerless in the face of huge global changes out of our control. At my talk I will be discussing how we can organise and take meaningful action to create liveable affordable, green and climate safe neighbourhoods. I’ll be talking about car free cities, biophilia, blue green infrastructure, community led housing, civic energy, and how we can build common wealth. This is a huge opportunity to change our places for the better. We have to think big, start small and act now.
    • Paul is the author of “Unlocking Sustainable Cities”
  • My memory and me – the importance of remembering our own life
    • Dr Jelena Havelka, School of Psychology, University of Leeds
    • Jelena investigates the impact of life changes and transitions on our sense of self and how major public events play a role in organising autobiographical memory.
  • The Analogue Moon
    • Mr Mark Wrigley, Chair of the Yorkshire Branch of the Institute of Physics
    • Mark’s interest in science and technology stemmed from watching the first moon landing live on television as a schoolboy. He filmed the screen with a Super 8 camera, in the days before domestic TV recording technology existed, and his footage of the 1969 event forms part of a display at the Science and Media Museum.
    • A session in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and in anticipation of tomorrow night’s film, Apollo 11

The September 2019 café was on Thursday 26th

The topics for this café were:

  • Molecular music: the sound of chemistry
  • Sugar, fat, alcohol… what’s worse for the liver?
    • Dr J. Bernadette Moore, School of Food Science & Nutrition, University of Leeds
    • She will be presenting her recent research on sugar versus fat in non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease pathogenesis
  • Caricatures and Dancing Homers: The maths of shape
    • Dr Kevin Houston, School of Mathematics, University of Leeds
    • Discussing using mathematics to animate shapes to move in time with music. You may have seen Kevin at the Bradford Science Festival on a stall representing MathsWorldUK (dedicated to establishing the first maths museum in the country)

The June 2019 Science Café was held on Thursday 13th

That night the discussions covered:

  • What can dirty teeth tell us about the past
    • Dr Anita Radini, Department of Archaeology, University of York
  • Drowning: how science can help us avoid it.
    • Dr Martin Barwood, School of Social and Health Sciences, Leeds Trinity University
  • Blockchain – What’s all the fuss about?
    • Andy Thomas, CTO, Aprexo Ltd and Codel Ltd

The first Science Café of 2019 was on March 14th

On that evening the sessions covered:

  • Phage Display: why the Nobel prize went viral
    • Dr Christina Rauber, Senior Scientist, Avacta Life Sciences
  • Jumpers for goalposts or is there more to football science?”
    • Prof. Mark Russell, School of Social and Health Sciences, Leeds Trinity University
  • Decontaminating my grandfather’s chemical legacy
    • Prof. Mark Lorch, School of Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Hull
    • This was a surprising, interesting and entertaining tale of a (literally) dangerous family legacy. If you’d like to read it or share it with friends, you can find it on line here

Earlier Science Cafés

For the record we have also left available information about our Science Cafés from 2017 and 2018. This can be found here.


September ’17 Café follow up: local air pollution

Professor Pilling C.B.E. (Emeritus Professor, School of Chemistry, Univ. of Leeds) provided the following links related to local air quality issues for us to share here.

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