Acanthodiformes family
Actinopterygii family


The Lives of Two Pioneering Medical Chemists in Bristol: Thomas Beddoes and William Herapath


Professor Brian Vincent, School of Chemistry, University of Bristol

31 March 2016



Polymers: Past, Present and Future


Dr Matthew Jones, University of Bath

25 February


The talk focused on the production of the different kinds of polymers that we all use in our everyday lives; everything from the plastic bags that now cost us 5p each to large structures.

Current research into new kinds of plastics that will be more environmentally benign was reviewed, including what to expect in the next 50 years!

Insect Pollinators in Trouble


Professor Stuart Reynolds, University of Bath

28 January 2016


Discovery: The Invention of Science 1500-1750


Professor David Wootton, Anniversary Professor of History, University of York

27 November 2015


We live in a world made by science. How and when did this happen? In his talk to the Science Group of the BRLSI (30th October 2015), David Wootton told the story of the extraordinary intellectual and cultural revolution that occurred primarily in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and which gave birth to modern science.

A Christmas Tree is not Just for Christmas


Prof Matthew Davidson, Head of Department of Chemistry, Director Centre for Sustainable Technologies, University of Bath

27th November 2015


The festive season wouldn’t be the same without a Christmas Tree but we should remember that once it has served its decorative purpose, wood and other biological resources are a rich  source of renewable products from fine chemicals to plastics and fuels. 

Using Evidence to Deliver Cost-Efficient and Effective Practice


Sir Andrew Dillon, Chief Executive NICE

15th October 2015


The ambition for NICE

  • An independent, authoritative source of advice on effective and cost effective ways of getting the best outcomes for people using the NHS and social care
  • A way of making difficult and important decisions openly and consistently
  • A means of ensuring equality of access to treatment and services
  • A service for those who use as well as those who work in the NHS and social care health


The organisation

Diagnosing Wound Infection with a 'Smart' Wound Dressing


Dr Toby Jenkins, University of Bath

20 March 2015


All wounds become exposed to bacteria, but not all become infected? Why is this, and can we use chemistry to obtain early warning of infection via biochemical changes in the wound environment? This talk will explore the nature of wound bacterial infection and present very recent data from work at the University of Bath on the development of our prototype wound dressing which detects the toxins secreted by bacteria as they grow within a wound.

Ebola: Current Understanding and Future Priorities


Professor David L. Heymann, M.D., Head and Senior Fellow, Chatham House Centre on Global Health Security and Professor, Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

18th February 2015


Multiple Sclerosis: Stem Cells to Repair the Brain?

Prof Neil Scolding

Frenchay Hospital, University of Bristol

13 September 2004

Professor Scolding has been working in the area of brain diseases for over ten years, and gave an overview of the present state of knowledge of the causes and prospects for multiple sclerosis.

Microbial Life Under Glaciers

Prof. Martyn Tranter

Dept of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol

22 October 2004

Professor Tranter is the director of the Bristol Glaciology Centre in the University of Bristol. He is a chemist interested in the movement of water through glaciers, and has done field work in the Alps, Norway, Svalbard, Greenland and the Antarctic.

Dolphin Sonar

Dr. Peter Dobbins

Physics Dept. University of Bath

26 November 2004

Dr Dobbins is researching into the way dolphins and other aquatic mammals use sound.

He began his talk by showing a cast of the lower jaw of a bottlenose dolphin, which is like the jaw of other cetaceans, are but unlike the other jaws of other mammals. The teeth have regular separations between them and are in two straight lines at a slight angle to one another. This remarkable structure has evolved to give the creature an efficient receiving mechanism for its sonar activities.

An Introduction to the Met Office

Peter Kaminski

Met Office

28 January 2005


Peter Kaminski has worked for 30 years in many departments of the Meteorological Office, firstly in Bracknell and then in Exeter following the Met Office relocation in 2003. He is now the manager of Observing Methods in Development. When Mr. Kaminski spoke the Met Office was preparing for a seminar on climate change to be held at Exeter 1–3 February, and to be attended by climatologists and senior officials from around the world.

What is it Like to be a Bat?

Prof Gareth Jones

Bristol University

25 February 2005

Professor Gareth Jones is from the School of Biological Sciences at Bristol University with an interest in evolution and echo-location.

Prof. Jones introduced his talk with a reference to Thomas Nagel's famous 1974 paper[1] with the same title, in which he asks whether it is possible to put oneself in the position of an alien creature sufficiently well to understand how it thinks and feels. Anyone who has been in a room with a bat flying around will realise how differently it must see the world.


Wing-in-Ground Effect Aircraft - Principles & Progress

Neville H Cross

BRLSI Member

27 May 2005

Can Our Food be Completely Safe?

Peter Berry Ottaway

Berry Ottaway & Associates

24 June 2005

17th Century Blood Transfusions - success or failure?

Chaired by Andy Pepperdine

Dr Pete Moore

Freelance Author

29 July 2005

Pete Moore has completed post-doctoral research fellowships with The Wellcome Trust and British Heart Foundation, and is now an author and medical journalist.

New Directions in the Study of Ancient Science

Dr. Tracey Rihll, University of Wales, on 23 July 2004


What is a Kilogram? - Mass Measurement in the 21st

Dr. Stuart Davidson, National Physical Laboratory

25 June 2004

Dr. Davidson works on the definition of a standard for mass measurement in the Mass & Density Standards department of the NPL.


David Cunliffe-Jones, Member, on 28 May 2004.

Theory and Experiment – The Key to Science

Richard Feynman, one of the greatest physicists of the twentieth century, was invited to give a series of lectures at Cornell University, in 1964, on 'The Character of Physical Law' (Feynman, 1992) In the last of these he gave a description of ways in which we seek to discover new laws, during which he made the following important observation:


Dr. 'Bakr Bahaj, University of Southampton, on 23 April 2004

Dr. Bahaj is the head of the Sustainable Energy Research Group in the School of Civil Engineering and the Environment at the University of Southampton.

Everything we do uses energy. There are two basically different ways of obtaining this energy. Either it is by using up fossil fuels, oil, gas, coal etc. Or it can be generated sustainably by using a repetitive energy flow, like recycling organic materials, intercepting winds or tides, etc.


Professor Michael Benton, Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology,

Bristol University, on 26 March 2004

Life on Earth is hugely diverse. All species are linked through evolution from a probable unique beginning; and how they are related has fascinated us since Darwin proposed organising them into a Tree in his Origin of Species in 1859 – in fact it is the only drawing in the whole book. It is now becoming clear just how big a job that is.


Debra Enzenbacher, BRLSI Member, on 27 February 2004

High-Definition Video for Film and TV Production

Bill Lovell, ARRI MEDIA, on 30 January 2004


Prof. Graham Collingridge, MRC Centre for Synaptic Plasticity, University of Bristol on

28 November 2003

The brain is a mass of interwoven nerve cells weighing about 3 pounds and one of the principal challenges of the 21st century is to figure out how it works, both from a chemical and organisational point of view. It consists of a number of specialised parts, each consisting of numerous very similar cells, called neurons. One of these parts, the hippocampus, is known to play a key rôle in learning and memory.

The Use and Abuse of Thermodynamic Ideas: To be or Entropy

Prof. Geoff Hammond

24 October 2003

Professor Hammond is a Director of the International Centre of the Environment (ICE) and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath.



and how we depend on them

Phil Cooke, Member, on 26 September 2003

The lecturer started with a brief discussion on the title of the lecture. He explained that the main subject, the history of computers, came about because he had been privileged to spend the early part of his career working with many of the early pioneers. But the strap line, of "and how we depend on them" was there to enable the talk to have contemporary significance.


Dr. James Chong, University of Bath, on 25 July 2003

This talk was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the paper that announced the discovery of the structure of DNA as a double helix. Dr. Chong obtained his PhD at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and his current research interests are in extremophiles.


Dr Peter Broks, University of the West of England, on 27 June 2003

This talk described the Victorian optimism and Edwardian return to realism concerning technical advances; the discussion extended to consider current attitudes a hundred years later.


Dr. Richard Lambourn, Transport Research Laboratory Limited, on 25 May 2003


Dr. Richard Twitchett, Dept of Geology, University of Plymouth, on 24 March 2003

Dr. Twitchett obtained his PhD with an analysis of the environmental conditions in the lower Triassic, and has become an expert on the Permian – Triassic boundary, which has become of considerable interest in recent years.