27 January – Macclesfield SciBar, 6:30pm, Park Tavern
Rebecca Elliot, University of Manchester asks – how do our brains respond to feeling good? Brain imaging techniques have led to huge progress in understanding the brain basis of human reward systems. We are able to map responses to a range of rewards, and show how complex social rewards depend on similar brain mechanisms to basic rewards such as food. We are also able to use these techniques to help understand what happens when normal responses to rewards break down, which is important in studying mental health problems, including depression, eating disorders and addiction.
29 January 2014 – Manchester Café Scientifique, 6pm, Kro Bar
Prof Stefano Vanin, University of Huddersfield – Since several different kinds of insects are involved in the decomposition of a body, they can prove useful in speculations concerning phenomena that occurred at the moment of or just after death. One aim of forensic entomology is to provide useful information concerning the time of death by analyses of insect evidence. The estimate of the PMI (Post Mortem Interval) can be obtained by analyses of the growth rates of insects present on the body, with a particular emphasis on temperature. In cases of an extended PMI, insects may assist in determining the season of death, as significant differences in insect faunas between warm and cold seasons are well documented. It is also possible to determine post-mortem movement of a body and there are also differences in the insect faunas between buried, submerged and exposed remains. The examination, identification and analysis of insects associated with human remains, combined with a knowledge of insect biology, can provide another level of detail in addition to anthropological, archaeological and medical data, in the reconstruction of events occurring close to the time of the death as well several years or century ago.
3 February – Knutsford SciBar, 7:30pm, Knutsford Sports Club
Prof Stephen Furber, University of Manchester returns to Knutsford Scibar and take us on a journey looking at the growth of computer power. How long before it far exceeds human brain power. Will the machines take over ? What can we do ? – reduce their potency or increase ours.
10 February – Bollington SciBar, 6:30pm, The Vale Inn
If you have ever looked up at the starry night sky and been enthralled by what you’ve seen, then embark upon a visual journey with Andrew Greenwood, Macclesfield of Astronomical Society. He will show you many aspects of the night sky that may have escaped your eyes, and help you understand its beauty.
17 February – Didsbury SciBar, 6:45pm, The Albert Club
Phil Noonan, PhD Student at the University of Manchester and Imanova Centre for Imaging Sciences looks at Body Surface Tracking using Microsoft’s Kinect.
26 February 2014 – Manchester Café Scientifique, 6pm, Kro Bar
Prof Trevor Cox, University of Salford, has been hunting for the sonic wonders of the world. A renowned professor who engineers classrooms and concert halls, Trevor has made a career of eradicating bizarre and unwanted sounds. But after an epiphany in the London sewers, Trevor now revels in exotic noises – creaking glaciers, whispering galleries, stalactite organs, musical roads, humming dunes, seals that sound like alien angels, and a Mayan pyramid that chirps like a bird. With forays into archaeology, neuroscience, biology, and design, Cox will explain how sound is made and altered by the environment, how our body reacts to peculiar noises, and how these mysterious wonders illuminate sound’s surprising dynamics in everyday settings – from your bedroom to the opera house. Trevor encourages us to become better listeners in a world dominated by the visual and to open our ears to the glorious cacophony all around us.
Though not strictly science in a pub (a bar will be available) – the Museum of Science and Industry is hosting the Manchester final for Famelab – 14 February, 6pm. See some of our very best science communicators share their passion for science in just 3 minutes! Book your free ticket here: