The science group has continued to thrive through 2013, and now has 13 members (being scientists, we are not superstitious). Since our sitting room only comfortably holds 10 people, we always hope that someone will be (no, not ill!) visiting their grandchildren.
We began in January by asking “How did they know that?”, and looking at how the electron, the proton and the neutron were first discovered. This was followed up in September by a review of all the fundamental particles and forces which make up our universe, and then in December by a group visit to the Large Hadron Collider exhibition at the Science Museum.
In March and June we welcomed guest speakers who enlightened us about evolutionary genetics and about the nasty bugs which cause food poisoning.
We attended the U3A/Royal Institution lectures in March and heard three very interesting lectures on new designer drugs, on consciousness and on the problem of over-fishing in our seas.
In August, some of us went to the residential U3A science seminar in Shropshire. Over four days, we heard a dozen lectures on a variety of subjects, some of which have inspired our subsequent meetings.
We are looking forward in 2014 to finding out a bit more about prime numbers and cryptography; about the history of immunisation and about the earliest hominids, as well as possibly looking at some of the rare earth elements; the workings of the nervous system; the gas giant planets and the strange properties of water.
Next March’s Royal Institution/U3A lectures will be on the science of sleep, the psychology of conversations and the physics of bubbles. Contact Ann Hollis if you would like a ticket.