The Group meets on the third Wednesday of most months between 9.30 and 11.00 am in the Holy Trinity Centre – click here to find this location. (then use your browser's back button to return to this page)
Meetings are in the lower classroom behind the Main Hall. We usually have a talk or presentation given by one of our members or visitors for about 45 minutes, followed by questions and discussion. If there is time, we have coffee and biscuits.
Science Group Programme for 2018/9
There will be no meeting in December
January 16th "Artificial Intelligence" John de Nordwall
There are as many definitions of intelligence as there are writers on the subject; the situation is made worse because of continued overselling and many superficial articles in the popular press. An Al machine should perceive it's environment and maximise the chance of achieving given goals without interference from the machine's operator; in other words be autonomous like a fictional robot. In practice autonomy is limited; the operator will have steered the machine to the job, chosen the tool(s) to be used and selected the programme that allows a well-defined task - such as driving a car - to be completed autonomously.
John will guide us through the state of the art developments in AI and predict the benefits and dangers facing humanity in the rapidly growing field.
February 20th "Battery Developments" John Gifford
I am sure you have noticed that torch batteries now last for longer, model planes fly on electric power, electric cars are a reality and all our latest devices are fitted with rechargeable batteries that work so well that even Dyson recently decided that there was no point in continuing to make vacuum cleaners that need to be plugged into the mains. John Gifford will be giving a talk on the scientific and technological basis of advances in battery design.
March 20th TBA Ron March
Details to follow.
April 17th "Understanding Our Universe Over The Past 500 Years" David Harris (Purbeck U3A)
Details to follow.
The U3A Science group has a broad remit. As well as revisiting topics that people will have experienced at school or later in life, from a modern perspective, we also aim to keep abreast of recent subjects of contemporary interest. The tantalising possibilities of life on exoplanets or of satellite landings on comets or on the moons of the outer planets of the solar system, may be looked at. Closer to home, scientific issues here on Earth - for instance the Longitude prize (click on blue type) problem of how to tackle drug resistant bacteria or the knotty concern facing us all with global warming - may be examples we consider.
The British Science Association has the objective of "Making science a fundamental part of culture and society"_
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Other venues for science talks/lectures
The Royal Institution in London
The Royal Society in London
Thomas Hardye School
Weymouth U3A Science Group
MOOC courses and Future Learn from your home via a computer
The items in blue above should be links to the relevant web sites. If you click on them the site should open in a new window or tab.
More information is also available from the National U3A. You need to be a member to log in.
We do appreciate the commitment of all our speakers. Presenting the talk could be a little daunting at first, although no-one expects the speaker to be a total expert.
Contributions from other members have often led to a lively discussion. It would be encouraging if more members could find the time to develop talks.
At our meeting back in December 2015 we discussed Science-related books we had read. Click below to see the list we came up with (now updated with later thoughts).
This page is maintained by Geoff Kirby