School of Physics & Astronomy

Science Public Lectures

Open to all and free to attend - lectures once a month (usually third Thursday of each month)

6-7pm Lecture Theatre B1 (Physics Building)

The Schools of Biosciences, Physics and Astronomy, Pharmacy and Chemistry have been jointly hosting a series of public science lectures with the Institue for Policy and Engagement, following on from the successful lectures organised for the International Year of Astronomy (2009), Int. Year of Chemistry (2011), and the series organised by the East Midlands British Science Association.

Due to covid19, the lectures will be held virtually for the forseeable future using Microsoft teams.

If you would like any more information about the series or would like to be added to the mailing list please contact

Mailing list: Charlotte Lee (Institute of Policy Engagement:

Content organiser: Hilary Collins (School of Pharmacy)


Upcoming talks



Past Events 2019/20

Aug 20

Professor Seamus Garvey Why (and how) the UK should be powered primarily by offshore wind by 2030

July 20

Dr Andrew Green Using breast cancer tissue in research

June 20

Professor Andrei Khlobystov Chemistry in the World's Tiniest Test Tube

May 20

Dr Caitlin Rutland Mending a Broken Heart

Feb 20

Dr Mary K Phillips-Jones Humankind versus microbes:who is winning the war of antimicrobial resistance?

Jan 16

Dr Meghan Gray Tens of thousands of galaxies at a glance

Dec 12

Prof Gerardo Adesso Quantum resources and where to find them

Nov 21

Prof Liz Sockett Predatory bacteria:natural killers of problematic pathogens

Oct 17th

 David Wikinson  To c or not to c - physics in science fiction writing                                                        

Past Events 2018/19

Sept 19th Mitchell Masterson Keeping your body clock ticking
Aug 15th Hannah Bolland The role of tumour hypoxia in cancer progression and treatment resistance
July 18th Thomas Stanton The unnatural natural: plastic alternatives and the problems they pose
June 20th Prof David Walker & Pro David Needham The appliance of science:using reverse engineering to improve the treatment of childhood brain cancers.PowerPoint presentation
May 16th Dr Julian Onions The far side of the moon:is it just aliens?
Apr 25th Prof Stephen Harding National DNA Day:Nottingham's Discovery of Hyrdrogen Bonds in DNA and Re-evaluation of the 1948 Creeth two-chain model for its structure
Mar 21st Dr Markus Bauer How Expectations About the World Structure our Perception
Feb 21st Dr Ana Valdes The role of the Gut Microbiome in nutrition and health
Jan 17th Dr Matt Brookes Quantum Sensing the Brain: Introducting a New Generation of Brain Scanning Technology
Dec 6th Derek Woodroffe S Brief Introduction to Tesla Coils - With Demonstrations
Nov 15th Dr Anastasios Avgoustidis Understanding the Origins of the Universe
Oct 18th Dr Jessica Wardlaw Slavery from space:Searching satellite images to end modern slavery

Past Events 2017/2018

Sept 20th Sr Simon Ferneyhough Remembering What and Where:Changes in Visual Memory across the Lifespan
Aug 16th Prof Nate Szewczyk Using Worms to Study muscle adaptation in spaceflight
July 19th Dr Alvaro Garcia Smart and Multifunctional Roads
June 21st  Dr David Quain  Cuckoo Collaborative, a different sort of MSc project!
Mar 15th Prof Gisli Jenkins Can Breathing Scar Your Lungs?
Feb 15th Dr Louise Lansbury Influenza:a century of challenges from an ever-evolving enemy
Feb 1st Prof A Padilla 1+2+3+4+5+..=1/12 and other mathematical orders
Jan 18th Dr Richard Campion Physics and scuba diving
Dec 7th Dr Craig Sturrock 3D X-ray vision
Nov 16th Dr Hannah O'Regan Who's eating who?Hominins and carnivores in human evolution.
Oct 19th Dr Markus Eichhorn Lasers in the Jungle
Sept 21st Dr Angus Davison Body asymmetry:How I made a 'shellebrity' snail.
Aug 17th Dr Jing Yang 3D bioprinting:a new tool for making replacement tissues and in vitro models.
July 20th Dr Ruman Rahman Darwin's Oncology Legacy
June 15th Dr Rebecca Dewey I can see what you hear
May 18th Professor Frazer Pearce Adventures in the Goldilocks Zone: the search for other earths
Apr 20th Professor Philip Moriarty When the Uncertainty Principle goes up to 11
Mar 16th Dr Mandy Roshier
Dr Steve North
Bits and Bytes: when horses meet computers
Feb 16th Julian Onions Things that go bang in the night (sky)
Jan 19th Claire Sycamore Thinking outside the (pill) box): alternative drug delivery strategies


Past Events 2016

Dec 8th Prof. Stewart Martin Breast cancer: a researcher's perspective
Nov 17th Prof. Peter Mitchell Being Sherlock Holmes: Reading minds from clues in Behaviour
Oct 20th Prof. Omar Almaini Surveying the Distant Universe
Sep 15th Sarah Pierce Open Air Laboratories: Collecting Data on Our Doorstep
Aug 18th Tim Colman Mineral Exploration – Looking for a Very Small Needle in a Very Big Haystack
Jul 21st Dr Jennifer Martin
School of Medicine
MindTech: Harnessing Technology for Better Mental Health
Jun 16th Dr. Helvi Witek
Research Fellow
School of Mathematical Sciences
Gravitational Waves II: The Universe's Symphony
May 19th Dr. Thomas Sotiriou
Associate Professor & Reader
School of Mathematical Sciences and School of Physics & Astronomy
Gravitational Waves I: From Newton's law to black holes and space-time ripples
Apr 21st Dr. Imogen Richens
Ask for Evidence Ambassador
Sense About Science
Why everyone should Ask for Evidence
Mar 17th Dr David Lathbury
Astute Chemical Development Consultancy
The past and future role of organic synthesis in drug discovery
Feb 18th Dr Andy Bennett
FRAME Laboratory
Beyond Animal Use in Human Biomedical Research
Jan 21st Simon Haydn The story (and technology) behind Bloodhound SSC


Past Events 2015

Jan 15th Prof Penny Gowland
Physics & Astronomy
From Star Trek to Medical Imaging- the Physics of MRI
Feb 19th Dr. Wang QI
Architecture and Built Environment
Feathers - A Dinosaur vision for Wollaton
Mar 19th Florence Annan
PhD student
Clostridia Research Group, Life Sciences
How to make Jet Fuel (and other useful things) from Greenhouse Gases
Apr 16th Dr Bettina Wolf
Associate Professor Biosciences
Chocolate - The Taste Sensation
May 21st Prof. Roger Bowley
Emeritus Professor of Physics
George Green’s contribution to MRI: How a Nottingham Miller contributed to a Nobel Prize Invention
Jun 18th Dr. Clare Burrage
Particle Theory Group
The Dark Side of the Universe
Jul 16th Heidi Richardson, Nicola Edwards and Georgina Roberts
Nature England
Protecting our Marine Environment
Aug 20th Dr Erik Murchie
Associate Professor and Lecturer in Crop Science
Photosynthesis: the Engine of Food Production
Sep 17th James Nightingale
PhD student
Viewing the Universe in Light of Gravitational Lensing
Oct 15th Dr Lisa Yon
Lecturer in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Elephant Welfare and Behaviour
Nov 19th Prof Richard Leach
Mechanical, Materials & Manufacturing Engineering
Metrology for additive manufacturing: the key to tight tolerances
Dec 17th Dr David Feary
School of Life Sciences
From Algae to Coral to Algae to Wherever Now!


Past Events 2014

Jan 16th Sophie Morris
PhD Student
From the cock-eyed squid to the dark side of the Universe: Asymmetry in Nature.
Feb 20th Prof. Gill Stephens
Professor of Bioprocess Engineering
From chewing gum to chemicals…
Mar 20th Dr Tony Padilla
School of Physics & Astronomy, UoN
Black Holes & Extra Dimensions
Apr 24th Prof. Ivan Powis
Professor of Chemical Physics
The Beauty of Symmetry: A disagreement between Art and Science?
May 15th Dr. Andrew Rollinson
Research Fellow, Engineering
Small-scale Biomass Gasification - Power from Woodchips
Jun 19th Dr Ho-Kei Chan
ERC Research Fellow
Computational Nanoscience
Oranges and Fullerenes, Packed like Sardines
Jul 17th Jenny Lord
The Future of Food
Aug 21st Dr Tahir Ahmed A Yardstick for our Solar System
Sep 18th Dr Richard Hill
Senior Research Fellow
Physics & Astronomy
Oct 16th Prof. Philip Moriarty
Physics & Astronomy
Can we do 3D Printing with Atoms?
Nov 20th Julian Onions
PhD student
Physics & Astronomy
Making a Universe from Scratch
Dec 18th Dr. Emily Lawson
Research Fellow
Managing Urban Flood Risk the blue-green approach


Past Events 2013

January 17th Dr. Sean Carroll The Particle at the End of the Universe: The Hunt for the Higgs and the Discovery of a New World
Feb 21th Dr. Philip Oldfield Rethinking the Tall Building: The Importance of Climate, Culture, Context
March 21st Dr. Susannah Lydon A Prehistory of the World in Ten Fossils
April 18th Prof Ian Connerton Bacteriophage Control of Bacterial Pathogens: My Enemy's Enemy is my Friend?
May 16th Dr. Steve Dunham How do Viruses Cause Disease? Lessons from our Feathered Friends and Other Animals
June 20th Caterina Lani The Cosmic Web and its Inhabitants
July 18th Prof. Jerry Roberts Global Food Security-Is there a role for GM crops?
Aug 15th Dominic Jones AWE “Radiochemistry: Real Life CSI - the importance of understanding nuclear isotopes when advising UK emergency response organisations”
Sept 19th Dr. Richard Alexander Exoplanets: Hunting for Other Worlds ( Presentation Slides)
Oct 17th David Wilkinson IoP Regional Officer Less Lethal Weapons
Nov 21st Dr Mike Fay University of Nottingham Nanotechnology Centre Nanotechnology - Hype, Fear and Reality
Dec 19th Dr Ian Fisk University of Nottingham Food Scientist The Flavour of Food


Past Events 2012

Jan 12th Dr. Daniele Fantin The Space Shuttle Story
Feb 23rd Dr. Mike Clifford How to Get Down from a Yak
March 15th Dr. David Cook A perfect pint: How to construct the flavour of beer.....
April 19th Prof Sir Peter Mansfield Snap Shot MRI - The Early Years
May 17th Dr. Helen West Dung Beetles and Their Battle Against Drugs
June 21st Dr. Will Carroll Allergy
July 19th Prof Clive Roberts Seeing the Nanoworld: New Solutions for Healthcare
Aug 16th Dr. Trevor Drage Energy in a Carbon Constrained World
Sep 20th Dr. Rob Stockman Nature's Chemical Warfare Agents: From Poison Arrows to magic Bullets
Oct 18th Professor Alan R. Palmer The Bionic Ear and Brain
Nov 15th Dr. Barry Lomax Where have all the flowers come from?
Dec 13th Prof. Mike Merrifield A seasonal canter through some scientific questions related to Christmas.


Past Events 2011

Jan 27th Brady Haran Internet Stars: The Secret Life of Sixty Symbols
Feb 24th Prof. Philip Moriarty Rolling molecules, switching atoms, and touching electrons.
March 24th Dr. Hanni Lux Substructure and Streams in the Milky Way: Unravelling Galaxy Formation
April 28th Markus Hammonds Supernovae and Stellar Fireworks
May 19th Dr. David Walker The Nottingham Cave Survey
June 16th Prof. Roger Bowley, Prof. Philip Moriarty, Dr. Meghan Gray, Dr. Frazer Pearce, Dr. Anne Green, Dr. Paul Saffin Open Question Panel
July 21st Prof. Peter Beton Graphene - conducting sheets with the thickness of a single carbon atom
Aug 25th Ian Kimpton Symmetry in Nature
Sep 22nd James Clewett Granular Dynamics
Oct 20th Dr. Keith Smith How to destroy the Earth
Nov 24th Prof. Alfonso Aragon-Salamanca Galaxy Formation and Transformation
Dec 8th Dr. Chris Lintott News from the Cosmos: 2011's astronomical headlines


Past Events 2010

Jan 21st Dr. Ed Copeland LHC and the Early Universe
Feb 18th Dr. Meghan Gray The Violent Lives of Galaxies
March 18th Dr. Anne Green WIMP Hunting: The Search for Dark Matter
April 22nd Dr. Tony Padilla Parallel Worlds
May 20th Dr. June McCombie The Chemistry of Space
June 17th Fernando Buitrago History of Space Exploration: Looking for New Horizons
July 22nd Dr. Graeme Candlish Black Holes
Aug 19th Dr. Frazer Pearce Global Warming
Sep 23rd Prof. Michael Merrifield 21st Century Telescopes
Oct 21st Dr. Steven Bamford Galaxy Zoo and the Zooniverse
Nov 18th Dr. Omar Almaini Quasars and Active Galaxies
Dec 16th Arianna Cortesi and Federica Maglioni Sounds of the Universe

School of Physics and Astronomy

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RD

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