Welcome to the Knutsford SciBar Website

This blog shows all our events, both future and past.

Our next meeting is on Monday 2nd Sept 2019 at our usual venue. Unfortunately, because some Alpine cows decided to supplement their diet by eating a number of sensors being used to collect data as part of a field experiment, Dr Arthur Broadbent, who was going to talk to us then, is having to return to Austria in early September to replace the sensors (and possibly shoot a few cows). However, despite the very short notice, we have been very fortunate to get a replacement: John Anderson (now retired, but who previously worked at the National Centre of Tribology at Birchwood) will give a talk entitled “Tribology – friction, lubrication and wear – a brief overview including some application examples”. If I get any more details I will post them here.

Please note that the start time will be 19.30 until announced otherwise. The entrance fee is £2 (free to students and under 21s).

We now have speakers booked up to and including March 2020. We have had a lot of ideas from the membership, many of which we are following up, but more are always welcome, so keep them coming.

Hopefully Dr Broadbent will be able to come and give his talk on invasive plant species (or maybe a new one on the changing dietary habits of Alpine cows) next year.

Enjoy the rest of the summer, assuming the weather will let you!

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Date to be Agreed – Invasive Plant Species

Invasive Plant Species – Bogeyman or Ecological Disaster?

Dr Arthur Broadbent of the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester will lead the discussion.


Himalayan Balsam

“Novel weapons”, “Enemy Release” “Invasional Meltdown” – these are some of the more popular hypotheses proposed to explain the paradoxical success of invasive plants. But is this militaristic language justified? Are invasive plants really such a threat? And what does explain their unlikely prominence?

Dr Broadbent will present the evidence surrounding the underlying causes of plant invasions, and with a more nuanced take on their ecological impact.

NB this talk was originally going to be given on 2nd September 2019, but had to be rearranged due to an unforeseen bovine intervention.


Posted in 2019, monthly_meeting | Tagged , | 1 Comment

2nd March 2020 – Living with a Shrinking Nile for 6,000 Years:geoscience and archaeology in Northern Sudan

Prof Jamie Woodward, who spoke to us in June about microplastics in Manchester’s rivers, will return to talk to us about the Nile. More details to follow.


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3rd February 2020 – How Do You Observe 1.33 Billion Km3 of Ocean?

This question will be asked by Dr Matt Donnelly, Lead Data Scientist, UK Argo Programme. The oceans play a key role in the climate and provide a habitat for a wide range of marine life, but with an average depth of 3.7km and a surface area of 360 million km2, how on earth do you collect the data to understand its physical properties, how it moves, and how it supports life?

Find out about the robotic Argo floats used to sustain our observations of this dynamic underwater world.

Dr Donnelly is also the organizer of Kirkby SciBar.

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6th January 2020 – Multisensory Perception and Synaesthesia

Dr Clare JonasDr Clare Jonas has a PhD in psychology and used to be an academic who researched human perception. She is now a Science Communicator which she describes as “taking the complicated world of academic science and making it accessible to the general public.

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2nd December 2019 – The Pluto Story

Prof Ian RobsonOur discussion will be led by Professor Ian Robson, now retired but previously a Professor of Astrophysics, President of the Society for Popular Astronomy and Technology Director of the Edinburgh Royal Observatory.

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4th November 2019 – Made to be Measured

The revolutions in analytical science for the real time analysis of the human body

This talk will be given by Dr Tony Bristow (FRSC), AstraZeneca, Macclesfield

Analytical science has made an enormous impact on the understanding of the biological and chemical processes within the human body.

This has been achieved via the application of a vast range of techniques.

However, many of these approaches require off‐line analysis, where samples are taken from a subject, transported to a laboratory, prepared and then analysed.

A vision for the future would remove the need to take a sample and analysis would be carried out on an individual in real time, to provide an immediate measurement of the level of an analyte or analytes.

This presentation will describe some of the most exciting developments in real time measurement of the human body. From cancer diagnosis by mass spectrometry to real time monitoring of key clinical analytes using smart phone based devices, this incredibly exciting science will be described.

However, this does raise a final question. Will we be making everybody a home analytical scientist and what could be the implications?

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