Curious Minds 8.9: Pure Dead Brilliant

The moment we hear someone talk, their accent and dialect influence the mental image we form of that person’s national, social, economic and educational background.

Dr Sadie Ryan is a sociolinguist at the University of Glasgow with a keen interest in the relationships between accents and identity. She spoke particularly about the relationships between Scots and English.

See the video of the lecture here: https://youtu.be/1HN-kiJ_-G8

Curious Minds 8.8: Bioethics

Last night Dr Sarah Chan from the University of Edinburgh spoke on the ethics of running medical trials – do people have the right to refuse to join trials, a moral obligation to join one, or even the right to ask to join a clinical trial?

A video of the lecture is available at https://youtu.be/RHMwp81yGiQ .

Curious Minds 8.7: Who’s got the Maintenance Manual for Planet Earth?

For this year’s McAlpine Lecture, Professor James Curran (visiting professor at the University of Strathclyde, amongst many other positions held including former chair of SEPA) spoke to us about the state of climate change.

From problems – CO2 emissions leading to global warming, biodiversity loss, extreme weather events and more – to how our perception of the solutions should change, understanding Sustainable Development of the environment supporting society and the the (circular) economy.

The video can be seen on our Youtube channel:


Curious Minds 8.6: The Impact of Noise on Marine Wildlife

Even to a casual observer it seems obvious that the noise generated by ships, boats, drilling rigs, sonar and other forms of human activity must be a problem for marine creatures.

Yesterday evening, Dr Luke Rendell, from the University of St Andrews, spoke about the extent and detrimental effects of both natural and man-made noise on marine mammals.

This video is available in high quality on our youtube channel:

Curious Minds will return in the new year.

Curious Minds 8.5: Inside the World of Killer Fungi

For the fifth in this series of Curious Minds lectures, Dr Delma Childers (University of Aberdeen) spoke to us about “killer fungi”.

Fungal diseases are an under-appreciated global health threat that are responsible for more than a million deaths per year. Delma is keen to raise public awareness about fungal infections and the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance.

Content Warning:

A couple of the slides have moderate gore. These are preceded by slides with an asterisk in the top-right corner by way of advance warning.

The video can be seen on our youtube channel at

The Archaeology of St Kilda

At the Archaeology & History section’s November meeting, Clare Henderson, an archaeologist with the National Trust for Scotland, introduced us to the archipelago of St Kilda, the UK’s only dual UNESCO World Heritage Site.

She explained the settlement of the islands from prehistory to the famous evacuation of 1930.

We studied both surviving archaeology and the written and photographic records that allow us to tell the island’s story.

A recording of the talk can be seen on youtube:

 

 

Curious Minds 8: Video: Next-Generation Batteries

Dr Rob Armstrong (University of St Andrews) gave us a very informative talk about research into battery chemistry – from the history of early NiCd and Li-ion battery designs through LFP and on to sodium-based chemistry options, with a view to what’s best for EV cars, recyclable for home storage and usable as part of grid infrastructure.

View the video of the evening here:

First Curious Minds Season 8 Lecture: Blue Carbon

For the first talk in our 8th Curious Minds season, Professor Bill Austin from St Andrews spoke about “Blue Carbon”.

Oceans absorb 30% of our CO2 emissions and 90% of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases. But some marine habitats can sequester 10 times as much Carbon per acre as a terrestrial forest.

Professor Austin Bill spoke about the potential benefits of Blue Carbon and about government initiatives, both in Scotland and beyond, to conserve this vital and useful habitat.

This video is available in 4k on YouTube:

 

For further investigation, see:

Project Seagrass: https://www.projectseagrass.org/

Blue Carbon at St Andrews: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/…/sustainability/blue-carbon/

Our YouTube channel with this and other videos: https://www.youtube.com/@PSNS1867

Our Faacebook page with this and other videos: https://www.facebook.com/PerthshireSocietyOfNaturalScience/

You can support our video work via our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/PerthshireSocietyofNaturalScience

Perth Festival of the Arts: Photographic Section Exhibition

We are pleased to announce that our Photographic Section, the Perthshire Photographic Society, are holding an online exhibition in association with the Perth Festival of the Arts, from now until June 20 2021.

Read more about it and visit the exhibition on their webpage: PPS: the exhibition is open

1898 Flora of Perthshire by Francis Buchanan White

The outstanding work of Francis Buchanan White, the founder of the PSNS, was published post humously under the editorship of Professor James W H Traill , Aberdeen, who was an Orcadian born botanist and also edited the Scottish Naturalist Magazine founded by FB White. It includes contributions by other members including the Birnam Postie, Charles Macintosh. Charles was a self-taught amateur naturalist from Inver, near Dunkeld, discovered 13 varieties of fungi, and was friends with Beatrix Potter.