“Curious Minds”

“Curious Minds” is a collaborative project between PSNS and Culture Perth and Kinross.

“Curious Minds” is an eclectic series of talks, by leading Scottish experts in their fields, exploring the theme of Contemporary Science in Scotland. But don’t expect Powerpoint slides stuffed with meaningless formulas and jargon. We have asked our experts to come along and explain their work in terms we can all understand. Quite a challenge! Here’s the programme for our 2017/18 series.

Oct 13th Dr Kimberly Bennett, University of Abertay “The Remarkable Physiology of the Seal” (Eventbrite tickets here)

As humans, fat and obesity can have negative connotations, but not so if you happen to be a seal. Kimberly is an expert on the physiology of energy use and storage in marine mammals.

Oct 27th Professor Chris J Spray, University of Dundee Managing water” (Eventbrite tickets here)

We depend on water for our survival but water is also a potential source of conflict and a constant threat. It needs to be managed – both physically and politically.

Nov 10th Dr Liz Humphreys, British Trust for Ornithology How off-shore renewables impact seabirds”

Liz Humphreys studies the effect of wind farms on seabirds: the results are more complex than you might think.

Nov 24th Prof Niamh Nic Daeid, University of Dundee The cutting edge of forensic science

The Dundee group has become famous for reconstructing faces from fragments of bone. But Niamh will tell us about the serious business of modern forensic science in the fight against crime and terror.

Dec 8th Dr Christian Rutz, University of St Andrews Crows that use tools

Corvids are perhaps the most adept tool users in the animal World. Christian has developed novel methods to study the cleverest tool user of them all –the New Caledonian Crow.

Jan 12th Dr Victoria Martin, University of Edinburgh The Higgs boson: Past, Present and Future”

Victoria will introduce the Higgs boson, the Large Hadron Collider and the new CLIC collider – and explain how Scottish physicists collaborate with scientists worldwide to understand the fundamental physics of the universe.

Jan 26th Jon Hoad, Perth The art of ancient life: recreating Jurassic habitats”

Jon is a professional artist who provides dinosaur illustrations for many of the World’s leading paleontologists. His detailed research helps him to reproduce the environment in which these magnificent creatures lived.

Feb 9th Professor Richard Oram, Stirling, and Paul Wilson, Glasgow. “The search for King James 1st

The remains of Perth’s Charterhouse Monastery and the tomb of King James 1st are still elusive. Recent geophysical data has led to a series of excavations and advanced computer modeling techniques allow us to recreate lost buildings in virtual reality.

Feb 23rd Dr Louise Horsfall, University of Edinburgh “Biological up-cycling of metals”

Industrial waste often contains valuable metals, which can be difficult to recover by conventional chemical techniques. Louise works with bacteria to produce metal nanoparticles so that the metal can be re-used.

Mar 9th Dr Mhairi Towler, Vivomotion, Dundee Bringing science to life”

Mhairi uses computer graphic techniques, derived from the games industry, to create beautiful 3D animations that not only help scientists visualize complex process but also communicate their work to a wide audience.

Mar 23rd Dr Kate Saunders, University of Edinburgh Volcano CSI: dissecting the magma chamber”

Volcanoes are fascinating, but eruptions can be devastating. Kate’s talk will explore how modern scientific techniques allow her to unravel and dissect the internal workings of active volcanoes.

The talks take place on Friday Evenings, at 7:30pm, in the Soutar Theatre of the A K Bell Library. Admission is £6 for the general public and £3 for PSNS members and registered students. School pupils are free. Tickets will be available at e-Computers on Kinnoull St in Perth and at www.EventBrite.co.uk ( Search for PSNS Curious Minds).