UK: Huddersfield

Small Seeds
120 New Street
Last Monday of the month, with variations for Bank Holidays etc, 6.30 for 7pm

You can also follow us on Twitter @HudCafeSci or Facebook

Sue Kilcoyne
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Twitter @HudCafeSci




27th November 2017

Lasers: Intense Beams of Light for Illustrating the Unknown

Andrew Rossall (University of Huddersfield)


When the laser was first successfully demonstrated in 1960, it was largely considered to be a technology without purpose. Now, some 57 years later, lasers are an integral part of everyday life with a vast array of scientific, medical, industrial and commercial applications. This talk will look at some of these applications and examine how new types of ultra-intense and x-ray lasers are being used to push the frontiers of science.


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30th October 2017

Superconductivity: One of Nature's Most Exotic Phenomena

Bob Cywinski (Prof Emeritus, University of Huddersfield)


Superconductivity is a magical and remarkable quantum physical phenomenon. Since its discovery just over a hundred years ago it has provided society with the world’s most powerful magnets (such as those at the Large Hadron Colllider), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in hospitals and levitating trains.
Although superconductivity was, for a long time, thought to be a very low temperature property of metals and seen only at temperatures close to absolute zero, over the last few decades many new and more unusual materials that become superconducting at considerably higher temperatures have been discovered. These new superconductors may well lead to technological revolutions in electronics, computing, health, transport and energy that could really change all our lives.

In this talk Bob will present the history and possible future of superconductivity, explain what superconductivity is and why it could be so very useful.



25th September 2017

Myth and Science of Sleep

Graham Law (University of Lincoln)


By the age of three, you have slept for at least 10,000 hours which makes you an expert at sleeping. So why is it, with all this expertise, that so many people have difficulty with their sleep? Our society is slowly beginning to recognise the problems we all have with sleep and how this affects our lives, health and wellbeing.
Join sleep scientist Graham Law as he explores the myths that surround sleep: some myths that are informative and helpful, others that are incorrect, and some that are positively damaging and counterproductive.



19th June 2017

Why is Cancer so Hard to Treat?

Roger Phillips (University of Huddersfield)


Cancer is a disease that affects all of us either directly or indirectly through family and friends. Chemotherapy is one of the major forms of treatment for cancer and whilst there has been significant successes, new drugs are required to specifically target cancers without causing unpleasant and difficult side effects. Scientists now understand a lot about the biology of the disease and new therapeutics are emerging but there are still major challenges ahead. This lecture will discuss these new challenges in the context of tumour biology and developing new drugs to treat cancer.



22nd May 2017

Addressing Access and Exclusion to Electronic Music and Sound Technology Practise for Women and Girls in West Yorkshire

Liz Dobson (University of Huddersfield)


Women are significantly underrepresented as composers, engineers, scholars and creators. In academia, for instance, 90% of undergraduate music technology students were male (Born & Devine, 2015), and similar figures persist throughout all quarters of the music industry, as seen for instance at the Proms where over 90% of composers programmed are typically male (Women in Music, 2016).

Liz will explain how her background in social psychology of collaborative learning and collaborative creativity motivated her to start The Yorkshire Sound Women Network, and how this group has come to inspire new learning and confidence in music technology practises amongst girls and women across West Yorkshire. This talk brings together education theory, social sychology and a social narrative of change that has truly transformed her own life in ways that she could never have anticipated.



24th April 2017

Teaching Mathematics Through Science

Ed Southall (University of Huddersfield)


A critical analysis of the existing norms of teaching mathematical techniques through science, and how to improve them to aid student understanding.

Ed taught in Education for 12 years in a variety of roles. He began his career as a teacher of computing and mathematics, and went on to be a Director of ICT, Head of Mathematics and Assistance Headteacher.



27th March 2017

Is it possible to build a star on earth?

Kate Lancaster (University of York)


Trying to recreate the energy source of the stars, nuclear fusion, on earth presents huge challenges in physics and engineering. The benefits of nuclear fusion if successful are an almost limitless, clean energy source. There are many challenges associated with keeping matter at 100 million degrees trapped inside a reactor without touching it! This talk is the story of how, in the absence of a lab the size of a star, we are attempting to make fusion into an energy source for the future.



27th February 2017

A Journey Into Inner Space

Bob Cywinski (Prof Emeritus, University of Huddersfield)


Our eyes are out windows on the Universe. Throughout out evolution they have enabled us to observe and make sense of the world around us as our understanding has grown so the questions that we ask about our world have become ever more complex.
To help us answer these questions we have built telescopes to study the vastness of outer space and microscopes to study the smallest objects in the finest detail. But imagine what we could learn if we were able to build a microscope so powerful it could look deep inside the very materials from which our world is made. So powerful that it wouldn't just reveal how atoms and molecules are arranged, but how they move and interact with each other, and how they bond together to form metals, alloys, chemicals, plastics and even the biological substances upon which life itself depends.

This lecture will describe the enormous science facilities that produce the high intensity beams of neutrons for such studies, and the important role that they play in all branches of science and engineering.



30th January 2017

ALIED: how people try (but fail) to detect lies

Chris Street (University of Huddersfield)


How can you tell a liar from a truth-teller? It's a tough task, and there's a lot of myths and misinformation propagated in books and on The Internet.
In this talk Dr. Chris Street (University of Huddersfield) will explore the science of lie detection. The traditional view has painted people as error-prone and highly inaccurate lie detectors. While there is some truth to this, ALIED theory (short for Adaptive Lie Detector) argues that people are making smart and informed decisions about whether someone is lying or telling the truth. This theory gives some hints about how to increase lie detection accuracy.



19th December 2016

How to not survive a lightning strike

Andrew Alden


The science of lightning (Fulminology) is complex and only partially understood but in this well illustrated talk Andrew covers some of the history and scientific theories related to lightning plus its effects on buildings, people and the field of lightning medicine (Keraunimedicine).



28th November 2016

Music and Dementia

Sam Hodgson


This talk from local musician Sam Hodgson will discuss the benefits of art on mental health with a focus on dementia and Alzheimer's.



31st October 2016

Corpses, Chemicals, Canines and Controversy

Anna Williams (University of Huddersfield)


This illustrated talk discusses the research undertaken at the University of Huddersfield to identify the gases given off by a body as it decomposes, and show how this knowledge has been used to improve the training of specially-trained victim remains recovery dogs in the UK. It also discusses the advantages and disadvantages of human decomposition facilities or 'body farms', where decaying human bodies can be studied scientifically. Contains graphic imagery.



26 September 2016

Smashing Physics: Particle Accelerators in Science, Medicine and Industry

Bob Cywinski (University of Huddersfield)


Particle accelerators are usually though of as the giant tools and playthings of high energy physicists, but they are now playing an increasingly important role in society, for example in cancer therapy. In this Cafe Scientifique we will see how particle accelerators have developed over the last century, making their way from physics laboratories to hospitals and factories.



27th June 2016

Turbocharging The Future

John Allport (University of Huddersfield)



23rd May 2016

Seeing Beneath The Soil:Search For The Lost Knowledge

Dominic Powlesland



25th April 2016

Iron in the Soul

Sue Kilcoyne (University of Huddersfield)



21st March 2016

The Difference (If Any) Between F# and Gb

Roger Barlow (University of Huddersfield)



22nd February 2016

Alternatives to Animal Testing

Laura Waters (University of Huddersfield)



25th January 2016

The Sonic Wonders of the World

Trevor Cox (University of Salford)



21st December 2015


Bob Cywinski (University of Huddersfield)



23rd November 2015

From Chaos to Complexity

Paul Glendinning (University of Manchester)



26th October 2015


Martin Richards (University of Huddersfield)



28th September 2015

An Alternative Nuclear Future

Bob Cywinski (University of Huddersfield)



29th June 2015

Engineering quality of life

Leigh Fleming (University of Huddersfield)



27th April 2015

Engineering reliability on the high seas

Andrew Ball (University of Huddersfield)



30th March 2015


Roger Barlow (University of Huddersfield)



23rd February 2015

Maggots, mummies and other friends: forensics and archaeology

Stefano Vanin



26th January 2015

Q is for quantum: a beginner’s guide to quantum physics

Bob Cywinski