Welcome to the Knutsford SciBar Website

We had a great turnout for our July session when Jeff Forshaw, Professor of Particle Physics at the Department of Physics in the University of Manchester talked about Black Holes.

There will be no SciBar in August so our next event will be on Monday 12th September when Dr. Ahu Gümrah Parry, a Dame Kathleen Lonsdale Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, will talk about Bio-inspired Optical Materials.  See below for 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 12th September, 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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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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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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10th October 2022 – Coping with Stress

Dr Clare Jonas

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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12th September 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.

Image: Natural History Museum
Chameleon
Image: XenonForge
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11th July 2022 – Black Holes

Postponed from December 2021, we are pleased to welcome Jeff Forshaw, Professor of Particle Physics at the Department of Physics in the University of Manchester.

Jeff has recently completed a book entitled “Black Holes: The Key to Understanding the Universe” in collaboration with Professor Brian Cox so you can be sure of hearing a great speaker who is at the forefront of this field.

Image of black hole

The image was captured using the Event Horizon Telescope. The black hole is at the centre and is outlined by emissions from hot gas swirling around it under the influence of strong gravity near its event horizon.

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