BLOG

Committee Posts Open!

We are saying farewell to two excellent volunteer coordinators: Natasha & Katie. They will be missed and it will be the duty of whomever steps into their shoes to continue their work: encouraging participation, keeping everyone informed and bringing a positive spirit to all our events.
 
Nominations are open for Volunteer Coordinators as of now. Please email info@science-london.com if you are interested in standing. Elections will take place at the next general meeting (13th February).
 
If you want to know more about this role, please have a look at this document.
Secondly, nominations are also open for Grants Officer. This role entails keeping track of upcoming grants deadlines, and rallying the team to write proposals. The election will also happen at the next general meeting.

SciBar | 9.1.18, 7pm | FREE

SciBar is a series of public-friendly events, taking the form of talks from experts in an informal setting. It is aimed at non-scientists who have an interest in science.
The SciBar events would last 2-3 hours: talks would last 20-30 minutes with the rest of the time for drinks, questions and discussion.
What is this thing called science? A brief introduction to the philosophy of science.
Speaker: Simon Flynn
For many years, scientific theories were thought to be something derived purely from facts – crudely put, it was believed that the more facts you had, or examined, the better your theory was likely to be. However, as someone aptly put it, ‘the trouble with facts is that there are so many of them’ – how are you to decide which of them are relevant?
There’s an even bigger problem with a fact-leading-to-theory view of science – no matter how hard you try, it’s pretty much impossible for observation, typically the source of a scientist’s facts, not to be in some way theory-laden. Norwood Russell Hanson summed this up wonderfully when he said, ‘there is more to seeing than meets the eyeball’. Sherlock Holmes understood the danger that one might ‘begin to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts’. So, perhaps surprisingly, observed evidence isn’t necessarily sufficient for supporting the truth of a theory. Which begs the question, what is?

Simon Flynn worked in publishing for nearly fifteen years and is now a science teacher. He is also the author of The Science Magpie published by Icon Books

The event will be at The Star of Kings pub at 7pm on the 9th of January and will be free of charge

Future Debates: some interesting stats and figures

On the 22nd of November we hosted our Future Debate event, a discussion on whether it matters who funds science.

Our fantastic panel presented an energised debate, matched by an engaged and curious audience. We thank everyone who attended and who made the event possible.

Some excellent questions were asked by our audience, including:

  • To best support the research community, should a funder support one senior researcher, or more young researchers?
  • Is a limit on funding necessary to ensure that science is competitive and high-quality?
  • How will Brexit impact on funding within the UK?
  • How is funding and research regulated?

Following the event, we asked the attendees to complete a survey. Here are a few key, exciting findings:

  • A massive 86% of the audience found the event good or positive, and 62% said their interest in science was increased (no-one’s interest decreased, fortunately).
  • Following the intense debate, only 7% of our audience were still very uncomfortable with private companies funding research, though the majority were only moderately comfortable with the idea.
  • Most of our audience considered themselves connected with science, though a quarter described themselves as fairly unacquainted with it before the event.

Overall, the debate was a massive success, and few wanted it to end. Sadly, we had to vacate the event room and finish off the party rings.

EVENT 22nd Nov | Future debates (free)

Future Debates is a series of public events supported by the British Science Association.

This year’s debates are on the topic of science funding and who does it. Does it matter if private companies fund science? Does private funding create bias in the research? How can we trust researchers?


David Game College, Aldgate, EC3N 2ET   |  22nd Nov 2017  |  Refreshments from 6:30, debate starts at 7 o’clock  |   FREE (booking required)

Click here to book your free ticket (via Eventbrite).


Future Debates events are part of the British Science Association’s work to make science a fundamental part of British society and culture.

As the London Branch, we believe that the answer to the question ‘ Does it matter who funds science?’ is an unequivocal ‘yes’.

We would like to focus this debate on the question “Where should the funding for science come from?”.

The debate will cover:

  • the current state of play for science funding
  • discuss the topic of public vs. private spending
  • the conflicts from private for-profit spending vs. pure research
  • case studies of for-profit private research

We look forward to welcoming you to the debate.

 

EVENT 16th Oct | Skill-Share 3: using images

16.10.17 | 7-8pm | Canning Town

Skill-Shares are an informal learning environment where you can develop your skills on a particular subject. They are about a group of people sharing skills, as opposed to a ‘teacher’ and ‘students’

The third skill share will focus on using images. Photographs, graphics, clipart… chances are that whether you’re making a slide show, a poster, a document or a website, you’re going to have to handle images.

Learn:

  • JPEG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, GIF, SVG… what they mean and where they should and should not be used
  • How to find high-quality images for free
  • Basic image manipulation
  • Making images work well with the rest of the content

Note there are only SIX places! If you would like to attend, email Nathan March (nathanwmarch@gmail.com).

September Round-Up

The start of the new academic year usually sparks with a new influx of excitement. This September, we announced our new SciBar officer, got our ‘Future Debates’ application approved, and rolled out a new website!

Over the next few weeks we’ll be holding a Skill-share on images and photos, as well as preparing for the Future Debates – the theme being ‘does it matter who funds science?’ As ever, if you’d like to get involved and volunteer, you need only apply!

Got an idea for an event? Get in touch!