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Future Talks

Social coordination in great apes and human children

Dr Sophie Milward, Lecturer, Dept Psychology, Portsmouth University

January 20th 2020 7.30pm £3pp on the door

Humans are known for being highly social beings, able to cooperate and coordinate in complex ways and on huge scales.  This is one of the skills that has been argued to make us unique, and explain our sophisticated cultures and techonologies, which in turn have made us the dominant species on this planet.  However, many other species show collaborative and coordination abilities to some extent.  I will present evidence from evolutionary and developmental psychology experiments with human children and our closest living relatives, the great apes, to demonstrate the ways in which we are similar, but also different from our evolutionary cousins.

Cancer Immunology

Ass Prof Edd James, Centre for Cancer Immunology, Southampton University

February 17th 2020 7.30pm £3pp on the door

Immunology is now recognised as another way to manage and even treat cancer. This talk will describe the evolution of this new approach and where we may go in the future.

Was Einstein right that he was wrong?

Prof Daniel Thomas, Professor of Astrophysics, Portsmouth University

March 16th 2020, 7.30pm £3 pp on the door

Einstein’s most famous legacy is his theory of gravity. As this theory did not allow for a static Universe, Einstein introduced an additional, arbitrary term in his field equations, the so-called cosmological constant. He called this the ‘biggest blunder of his life’, after Edwin Hubble discovered that the Universe is actually expanding. But Einstein might have been right after all. The cosmological constant has recently been re-introduced as so-called Dark Energy after observations indicated that not only is the Universe expanding, its expansion is even accelerating. However, there is another problem. The dynamics of galaxies demand the existence of yet another mysterious substance: Dark Matter. Dark Matter is the pillar of the formation of galaxies and the evolution of the Universe as a whole, yet it has never been detected. Alternative theories are now being developed that discard both Dark Energy, hence Einstein’s cosmological constant, as well as Dark Matter, hence his theory of General Relativity. Was Einstein right after all?

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