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All you ever wanted to know about science… for the price of a cuppa


National Science and Media Museum

Bradford’s Cafe Scientifique season begins in September

If you have even the slightest interest in science and technology, then the latest season of Bradford’s Cafe Scientifique could be for you.

Beginning in September, experts in their fields will deliver a series of short talks on subjects including the dangers of artificial intelligence, how the human brain works, the future of building materials, why our teeth are like tree rings and how scientists can predict the risk of developing certain diseases by looking at your body fat - there are even talks on spirit photographs, and another about our enduring fascination with fairies.

And the best thing… it’s all completely free.

From AI to fairies

Programme director and University of Bradford scientist Dr Gisela Helfer said people would be able to either attend the talks in person - at Bradford National Science and Media Museum - or follow them online.

“I’m extremely excited about the new series. It’s a diverse programme with everything from AI and body fat to spirit photographs and fairies. Whatever you are interested in, you will likely find something.

“The whole idea of Cafe Scientifique is it’s for everyone and it’s nice and informal, so people can come alone or with friends and have a cup of tea or glass of wine, it’s a very sociable event and a great atmosphere.

“You also don’t need any background knowledge and it’s free. It’s a place where anyone can come and explore the latest ideas in science and technology.”

Speakers include lecturers from the University of Bradford and others from further afield, including one from the US. Talks usually last about 20 minutes, followed by a question and answer session. 

Talks will begin on September 30 at 6.30pm, with Professor Christine Ferguson presenting The Cameo Camera and the Cottingley Fairies, which will examine the ‘entangled history of science and spiritualism’ and how even today humans like to put ‘the ghost back in the machine’.

Science talks

Other talks include Green Concrete: Building a More Sustainable Future, by Prof Ashraf Ashour on October 28, which will look at a new futuristic building material being developed right here in Bradford, Stories from the Tooth Fairy with Dr Julie Beaumont, otherwise known as ‘the Bradford Tooth Fairy’ for her pioneering work on human teeth and how they can reveal previously unknown aspects of their owner’s lives, and The Eye as a Window to the Listening Brain, by psychologist Ronan McGarrigle, on July 21.

All talks begin at 6.30pm - to book your place either in person or online, please visit the National Science and Media museum website, www.facebook/BfdCafe, or follow @BfdCafe on twitter.