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Those who teach shall also learn & those who learn shall also teach

Norah Boyce Science Lectures

Please note new venue:

The lectures will now be held at a new venue in the City Centre on Tuesdays at 5.45 pm in St Andrew’s Street Baptist Church, St Andrew’s Street

This is just along from the Arts Picturehouse Cinema and opposite Maplin and Sainsbury’s local.  There is good provision for bikes and it is two minutes from Drummer Street bus station.

The Church has had a ‘makeover’ and is light and spacious with VERY comfortable chairs.  Please enter via the passageway marked Stonehouse Yard and Café.  This is not open for service after 4pm, but access is available from 4.30pm.

The Lectures are a distinct and popular part of our programme and complement the Wednesday Lecture programme.

We offer about eight lectures per academic year, on Tuesday evenings, and aim to cover a broad range of scientific themes each year, both general and topical.

Please note if you arrive late, you may not be able to gain admittance as the entrance doors are locked during the lecture.




17 January                

Gyroscopes and Boomerangs

Dr Hugh Hunt, Reader in Engineering Dynamics and Vibration, Cambridge University

Spinning things are strange. Why does a spinning top stand up? Why doesn’t a rolling wheel fall over? Why is top-spin so effective in tennis? How does a falling cat always manage to land on its feet? How can the Hubble Space Telescope turn around in space? What do ice-skaters do to spin so fast?  We’ll look closely at the common threads that link all spinning things, and that means we’ll have to talk about gyroscopes.

Gyroscopes are fascinating, being counter-intuitive and apparently anti-gravity devices and yet their behaviour is completely described by Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion “F= ma”. The boomerang is governed by the gyroscopic effect and aerodynamic lift – two of the most miss-understood areas of physics. Dr Hunt has been involved in many reconstructions with physics engineering elements and he was the 2012 Winner of Royal Television Society Award for the best history programme? His TV documentaries include Dambusters: Building the Bouncing Bomb and Escape from Colditz .He has also set up a website giving real-time analysis of the accuracy of the Trinity College clock Everything (except the bomb) will be demonstrated live with lots of toys and videos.

An introduction to the speaker Dr Hugh Hunt can be found here:


21 February              

The Beauty of Flavour: Latest results from the LHCb experiment at the Large Hadron Collider

Professor Valerie Gibson, Head of the High Energy Physics Research Group in the Cavendish Laboratory

The LHCb experiment at the Large Hadron Collider is designed to search for new phenomena in heavy quark (beauty and charm) systems, which could ultimately explain why we live in a universe made of matter and not antimatter, as well as giving insight into the origin of dark matter in the Universe. This talk will focus on the latest results from the LHCb experiment: the precision measurements that benchmark the Standard Model; the results that tantalisingly deviate from the Standard Model; and the discovery of many new particles, including pentaquarks.


14 March  

Calcium and Vitamin D requirements for bone health

Dr Ann Prentice, Director, MRC Elsie Widdowson Laboratory Cambridge and Head of Nutrition and Bone Health Group

Research focusing on nutrient requirements for bone health, encompassing the nutritional problems of both affluent and developing societies.  The mission of the Medical Research Council’s EWL is to conduct nutrition research and surveillance to improve the health of the population with a focus on obesity and metabolic risk musculoskeletal, health, intestinal health and nutritional inequalities.

Please note: this lecture was originally scheduled for 7 March, but the date has been changed due to the speaker’s commitments.


Please note if you arrive late, you may not be able to gain admittance as the entrance doors are locked during the lecture.


Details of past lectures can be found here

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