Didcot First

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Talks start at 7.30pm on the third Tuesday of every month at Cornerstone, Didcot.

There is no need to book - just turn up! However, please be aware - should visitor numbers exceed the capacity of the venue, some people may be denied entry, therefore, do come early to get a good seat!

Each month we have a different speaker, and would welcome your ideas for topics or speakers.  The events are aimed at an audience aged 16+.

Whilst the event is free, we do ask for a voluntary donation to cover the cost of hiring the sound amplification that is required now our numbers have grown.  Donations will not be regulated - we're well aware that some will be able to pay, some will wish to overpay at some meetings and ignore the pot at others, and some may find it difficult to contribute in this way. 

Didcot First has been organising the Didcot Café Scientifique since 2010.  It is important to us because we have some really ground breaking and earth shattering science happening all around us: at Harwell, Rutherford, Culham, Milton Park, etc. and we want to help connect local people (scientists and complete novices) with what is happening in these places.

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  • Café Scientifique - Waves of Gravity

    Café Scientifique - Waves of Gravity

    20th September 2016

    Café Scientifique - Waves of Gravity, what it's like to work on a scientific breakthrough A century ago, Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves as part of his general theory of relativity. He himself was sceptical about their existence and it has taken 50 years of concerted effort to finally prove they really do exist. Justin Greenhalgh has spent his career working in the field of project engineering at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, including several years working on equipment designed to detect gravitational waves. In this talk he will outline how the UK became involved in the international effort to detect the elusive waves, where they come from, why it was so hard to do, how we did it in the end, and why it matters. ...

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  • Café Sci: Envision: Understanding why our most Earth-like neighbour (Venus) is so different

    Café Sci: Envision: Understanding why our most Earth-like neighbour (Venus) is so different

    19th July 2016

    Envision: Understanding why our most Earth-like neighbour (Venus) is so different by Richard Ghail Richard Ghail, from Imperial College London, will be informing us about how he uses radar interferometry to measure intraplate tectonics under ground in London and is proposing a mission to do the...

  • Café Scientfique - 25 years of the Hubble telescope

    Café Scientfique - 25 years of the Hubble telescope

    21st June 2016

    25 years of the Hubble telescope - precise measurements and unexpected discoveries Dr Allan will talk about what the Hubble space telescope was designed to do, why we need to go into space to do this, the tremendous advances that it has delivered in our understanding of the universe and the...

  • Café Scientifique - Art & Astronomy 2

    Café Scientifique - Art & Astronomy 2

    17th May 2016

    Café Scientifique - Art & Astronomy In 2010 Barry Kellett, from RAL Space, gave a talk on art and astronomy that left us all with a great deal to think about (particularly the background story to Munch's 'The Scream').  To coincide with Artweeks, Barry has offered to give us more insights...

  • Café Scientifque - What's in our water?

    Café Scientifque - What's in our water?

    19th April 2016

    What's in our water? - understanding the role of phosphate in drinking water We will be returning to our usual venue at Cornerstone to hear Matthew Ascott, a Hydrogeologist at the British Geological Survey, talk about how the addition of phosphate to our drinking water affects human health and the...

  • Special Café Scientfique - Bloodhound Talk 'Time for a big change'

    Special Café Scientfique - Bloodhound Talk 'Time for a big change'

    15th March 2016

    Special Café Scientifique - 'Time for a big change', a talk by Sir Richard Noble of the Bloodhound SSC project. Richard Noble's team see themselves as an extension of the generation that took aircraft design and manufacture from biplanes to jets in 6 years.  The team has built a 1,000mph...

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  • Stopping bad guys with lasers & other useful applications of Raman spectroscopy

    Stopping bad guys with lasers & other useful applications of Raman spectroscopy

    16th February 2016

    Local company Cobalt Light Systems is using novel laser-based spectroscopy techniques to see through barriers and identify chemicals within containers.  Applications are airport security, manufacturing raw material check, bomb disposal, and in-vivo cancer detection.  Stuart...

  • Café Scientifique - Nuclear Issues

    Café Scientifique - Nuclear Issues

    19th January 2016

    Nuclear Issues by Ian Adsley Ian has very recently retired from his role as Senior Consultant at Nuvia.  This will be his third and final talk about aspects of nuclear issues.  The first talk covered the good (medical radiotherapy and diagnostics), the bad (nuclear weapons) and the...

  • Café Scientifique - Christmas Special

    Café Scientifique - Christmas Special

    15th December 2015

    Café Scientifique - Christmas Special In December 2010 Dr Barry Kellett, from STFC, came to give us a talk about the 'real' astronomy behind the biblical Star of Bethlehem.  So many people enjoyed that particular session that it has gone down in Café Scientifique history, causing those that...

  • Café Scientifique, Culham - where we have come from and where we are going

    Café Scientifique, Culham - where we have come from and where we are going

    17th November 2015

    Culham - where we have come from and where we are going  Chris Warrick is the Communications Manager at the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), where he has particular responsibility for education and public outreach.  Steven Moss is currently Head of...

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