London Group Autumn/Winter Lecture Series 2015

2 Oct 2015

The London Group’s Autumn/Winter Lecture series returns on 6 October at UCL, with The Compatibility Gene.

Prof Daniel M Davis (Director of Research in the Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research) will tell the story of the crucial genes that define our relationships, our health and our individuality, and will follow the remarkable history of these genes’ discovery. From the British scientific pioneers who struggled to understand the mysteries of transplants to the Swiss zoologist who devised a new method of assessing potential couples' compatibility based on the smell of worn T-shirts, Davis will trace a true scientific revolution in our understanding of the human body: a global adventure spanning some 60 years.

Prof Davis will be followed by John Nicholson on 13 October with a talk on surviving in Victorian times and will examine the hazards that took place during this era due to a variety of unregulated chemicals. Nicholson will explore the exposure of these practices - in particular contaminated drinking water (leading to cholera) and food adulteration - how they were dealt with through the growth in the discipline of analytical chemistry and the establishment of the Office of Public Analyst.

The following week, on 20 October, Bin Chen from PS Analytical will speak about Atomic Fluorescence Spectroscopy, which is an ideal detection technique for speciation studies concerning hydride forming elements.

At the end of October, Tony Milanowski (Plumpton College, home of the UK Wine Research Centre), will ask the question; why does the same wine taste different? The lecture will delve into the areas of sensory science and human physiology. The audience will learn all about genotypes, hypertasters, ageusia, specific anosmia and lingual activity to find out why your sensory system might be as unique as your fingerprint.

A careers event will be held on 10 November. Speakers from a variety of industries will talk at this special event designed to assist with your career choices. Find out how the skills that you have learnt from your academic career can be translated to the workplace.

This will be followed by Ron Neale’s talk on 17 November on solid state memory and the challenges of silicon.

On 18 November the lecture series will move to the New York University in London (6 Bedford Square) for Dr Tristram Wyatt’s (University of Oxford) talk on human pheromones. Dr Wyatt will argue that if we are to find human pheromones, we need to treat ourselves as if we were a newly discovered mammal, and use the rigorous chemical methods and bioassays already proven successful in pheromone research on other species.

The lectures will move back to UCL on 24 November for Andrew Margetts-Kelly’s talk on Satelity tech and for Saba Hinrichs-Krapels’ talk on Research Excellence Framework (REF) policy. Dr Hinrichs-Krapels, will present some of the findings from the 2014 REF study. The team at the Policy Institute at King’s College London were commissioned by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to analyse the 6,679 non-redacted impact case studies that were submitted and completed their report in March 2015. The analysis of the case studies used text mining techniques leading to the identification of 60 impact topics or areas where research influences society, such as medical ethics, climate change, clinical guidance, gender and minorities.

On 27 November, the London Group will host a Members’ Lunch and Lecture at SCI’s offices in Belgrave Square. Dr Fred Parrett, London Group Treasurer (previously Chair) and Parrett Technical Developments will give the lecture. His presentation will consider the science, engineering and chemistry behind bitumen and asphalt, and will cover the story behind these fascinating materials. However, the talk will not be too technical and members' partners and friends are also welcome to attend.

With the exception of the Members' Lunch and Lecture, the events are free to attend. Booking is not required for events taking place at UCL but please book for the Human Pheromones Lecture and Members’ Lunch and Lecture. Refreshments are also served prior to and at the end of each event. Please follow the London Group Events link and click on the individual events for more information.

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