Welcome to the Knutsford SciBar Website

In a change to our previously-advertised session, our October talk will be given by Chris Rattray who designs printed circuit boards. His topic is Electronics – the thinking inside the box. See here for more details.

  • WHERE: The Angel, King Street, Knutsford – first floor function room accessed by the internal staircase behind the bar or the external fire exit stairs at the rear of the building.
  • WHEN: Monday 10th October, 6.30 for a 7.00pm start. £2 cash donation requested to cover costs (students FOC).
  • NOTE: Refreshments will only be available from the downstairs bar.

If you would like to be added to our mailing list so that you can receive monthly meeting reminders, please provide your email address via the Contact page.

For a full list of all SciBar sessions, both upcoming and historical, see below where they are presented in reverse chronological order.

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17th April 2023 – Coping with Stress

Dr Clare Jonas

Postponed from October 2022, Dr Clare Jonas returns to describe her study of how we cope with stressful waiting. Clare last spoke to Knutsford SciBar in January 2020 when her topic was “Multisensory Perception and Synaesthesia”.

Clare says “I was inspired by the pandemic and in learning how to cope with it I read a lot of the research on stressful waiting, but of course it’s also relevant to other kinds of stressful delays like waiting for a medical test result, moving house, or the period in between doing an exam and getting results.

Clare’s talk will cover why waiting is stressful, what makes one person more stressed than another in the same situation, and practical evidence-based tips on how to cope.

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13th February 2023 – The End of Everything

Dr. Steve Barratt, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool makes a welcome return to SciBar.

In March 2021 he gave us a Zoom talk entitled “The Beginning of Everything”.  Now he finishes the story in person with a view into the future, describing the fate of the Earth, the Sun, the galaxy … and the Universe. Hold on to your hats!

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9th January 2023 – Making the Tiniest Machines

Professor David Leigh leads the Leigh Group at the University of Manchester.  The Group explores, invents and discovers fundamental ways to control molecular-level dynamics and topology.  In simple terms, they are making machines out of molecules.

David says “Perhaps the best way to appreciate the technological potential of controlled molecular-level motion is to recognise that nanomotors and molecular-level machines lie at the heart of every significant biological process. Over billions of years of evolution Nature has not repeatedly chosen this solution for achieving complex task performance without good reason. When we learn how to build artificial structures that can control and exploit molecular level motion, and interface their effects directly with other molecular-level substructures and the outside world, it will potentially impact on every aspect of functional molecule and materials design. An improved understanding of physics and biology will surely follow.”

Along with others, David holds the Guinness World Record for the tightest knotted structure at 2.5 nanometres per crossing (awarded in 2017) and also for the finest woven fabric measuring 7.7 million strands per square centimetre (awarded in 2020).  David is a former national champion contract bridge player and an accomplished magician (ex-Edinburgh Magic Circle and the Manchester Circle of Magicians) who is known for blending magic and science in his public lectures.  This promises to be a very informative and entertaining talk!

Representation of a programmable small-molecule robot able to transport a molecular cargo (shown in red) in either direction.
Image credit: Salma Hassem
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12th December 2022 – Bio-inspired Optical Materials

Developing sensors by mimicking nature’s colour mechanisms

Dr. Ahu Gümrah Parry is a Dame Kathleen Lonsdale Research Fellow at the University of Manchester.  Her latest work focuses on tailoring shape, size and surface chemistry of nanoparticles (mainly produced from natural and sustainable sources) to fabricate photonic structures.  Her interests include novel and sustainable packaging materials and colourful responsive films and fabrics.

Originally scheduled for September 2022, unforeseen circumstances meant this talk had to be postponed – it has now been rescheduled. We look forward to welcoming Dr. Parry in December

Image: Natural History Museum
Chameleon
Image: XenonForge
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14th November 2022 – Native Plant Reintroductions

Josh Styles

This talk will be given by Josh Styles.   Josh is a recently-graduated botanist who now has a dynamic career in ecology and science communication.  He has founded the North West Rare Plant Initiative (www.nwrpi.weebly.com) and British Botany Training (www.BritishBotany.co.uk).   He has also carved out a niche as a go-to expert in the broadcast media, appearing on Countryfile, Springwatch, Radio 4 and Channel 4 News.

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