11/2020: Art & Astronomy (B Kellett)

Time: Thursday 19 Nov 2020 from 19:15 for 19:30

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this event will be delivered online. More details can be found here.

TITLE: Art & Astronomy

Astronomical objects sometime make an appearance in works of art or literature.  This then gives astronomers an opportunity to delve deeper into these works and discover details that would otherwise have remained a mystery. So what can, two paintings by van Gogh, the Roman invasion of Britain in 55 BC, Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Edvard Munch’s The Scream tell us?

SPEAKER: Barry Kellett

Barry Kellett has worked at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory for over thirty years. He is an astronomer, space scientist and lunar expert. He has been giving public lectures since he started at RAL Space and now as a catalogue of over 100 lectures.

10/2020: Virus (N Page)

Time: Thursday 15 Oct 2020 from 19:15 for 19:30

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this event will be delivered online. More details can be found here.

TITLE: Challenges in Viral Vector Manufacturing – working to fast track vaccine vector production

It will be a general overview of manufacturing and supply chain challenges faced in large scale vector manufacturing with the added challenge of doing this at “warp speed” in a pandemic response situation.

SPEAKER: Nick Page

Nick Page joined Oxford Biomedica in April 2018. Prior to joining he has held a number of senior operational leadership positions in the pharmaceutical industry, most recently as Platform Head of Anti-infectives within Novartis. His 35+ years of industry experience include API, Solid oral dose, Sterile, and Radiopharmaceutical manufacturing in various organisations encompassing innovative, generic and contract manufacturing. During his career he has spent several years working in China and India as well as in Global roles. He originally qualified as a Chartered Chemist and also has an MBA from The Open University.


09/2020: Lights & Air (A Pratt)

Time: Thursday 17 Sep 2020 from 19:15 for 19:30

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this event will be delivered online. More details can be found here.

TITLE: Natural Light and Fresh Air: The Ultimate Human Drugs?

There are  serious silent chronic impacts on the human condition of poor light and polluted air. We take natural light and fresh air for granted at our peril. For example the average person loses 2/3 of the light reaching their retina by the age of sixty and that poor quality light might be responsible for global epidemics in eye-strain, myopia and sleep deprivation. Pollutants in the air ‘enjoyed’ by 91% of the human population cut the average life of a human being by 3 years, take 10 years off peoples memory, and can contribute to deaths from Covid-19.

SPEAKER: Alex Pratt

Alex is a serial entrepreneur who uses pioneering technology and innovation to bring positive change to the world. His lights have travelled as far as man has travelled into space, and  deep under the ocean. They help to save lives every day in lifeboats and on operating tables. He is currently launching new air filters which kill Coronavirus and cleanse the air of the pollutants which the WHO describe as the biggest single health risk to humans. He has an OBE for services to business and education and is holder of the lifetime Queens Award for Enterprise Promotion. He has chaired over 50 boards and recently retired as Chairman of the IoD South.

08/2020: Radar (A. Cooke)

Time: Thursday 20 Aug 2020 from 19:15 for 19:30

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this event will be delivered online. More details can be found here.

TITLE: Passive Covert Radar and similar ESM systems: what they are, and what they can do.

War-fighters have always trying to get good “observation” – preferably without being observed in turn.  Passive systems like Passive Covert Radar, which “piggybacks” on emissions from other sources like for example radio, TV or phone signals,  provide a very useful capability.  While the battlefield implications have always driven “Electronic Support Measures” (ESM) like these, there are far wider benefits in the preservation and use of the limited electromagnetic spectrum by using existing emissions rather than cluttering up the spectrum.This talk covers the advantages and disadvantages of these, and the illuminators we can use, ending with a sharpened focus on a particular war fighting role that can deeply affect aircraft used in war.

Speaker: Andy Cooke

Andy Cooke joined the RAF as an Engineering Officer after a degree in Physics from Imperial College, doing tours in Air Defence Radar, Satellite Communications and Spacecraft Operations, Air Traffic Systems Engineering Authority, Secure deployable IT systems, and Electronic Warfare Analysis (following a further degree at Cranfield University with a thesis on Sensor Fusion of Multistatic Radars of Opportunity).  He retired from the RAF as a Squadron Leader in 2012 and is now an Enterprise Architect specialising in secure IT systems and a District Councillor for Vale of White Horse.

07/2020: Oncology (A. Gerard)

Time: Thursday 16 July 2020 from 19:00 for 19:30

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this event will be delivered online. More details can be found here.

TITLE: The Immune System: From Basic Knowledge to Novel Anti-tumour Treatments

Our immune system is essential for our survival. It constantly battles pathogens, without us even realising it. To efficiently tackles all types of invaders we encounter, the immune system is composed of multiple cell types, which have to coordinate their actions to avoid spreading of the invading pathogen. During the first part of this talk, I will present the complex journey the different players of the immune system take to ascertain they keep our body healthy. In the second part of the talk, I will move on to situations where the immune system is not working appropriately, focusing on the immune response to cancer. Finally, I will present examples on how we can harness the immune system and train it to control cancer.

Speaker: Audrey Gerard

Audrey Gerard is a group leader at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, University of Oxford. Audrey has been trained as an immunologist in France, and worked in the Netherlands and the US before starting her group in the UK. Her group is interested in understanding how immune cells communicate and how these communication channels are co-opted during carcinogenesis to evade the immune system.