Events Programme 2018

Saturday 10th March 2018

Dr Paul Roche

Down to Earth: Impacts from Space

What killed the dinosaurs, and should we be worried? Astronomers regularly discover lumps of rock and ice hurtling past the Earth. This talk examines what we know about the threat of impacts from space, – it’s all about death, destruction and dinosaurs, with real bits of space rock!

Saturday 10th March 2018 at 11:00am at Our Lady's Abingdon

Saturday 10th March 2018

Dr Mike Cassidy

Volcano Trickery: How to Survive a Volcanic Eruption

Will a volcanic landslide in the Canaries cause a mega-tsunami? What’s the likelihood of Yellowstone erupting soon? What makes a volcano erupt with such ferocity? These are just some of the questions explored in this interactive show. 

Saturday 10th March 2018 at 1:00pm at Our Lady's Abingdon


Saturday 10th March 2018

Professor Alison Woollard:

Who Wants to Live Forever?: the Biology of Ageing

The search for the elixir of youth has been a fantasy through the ages, but is it possible to live much longer, or desirable? Come with me on the quest for eternal youth, as I introduce you to my favourite creature, the tiny nematode C. elegans, and reveal how this humble worm is letting us into the secrets of a long and healthy life. 

Saturday 10th March 2018 at 3pm at Our Lady's Abingdon


Saturday 10th March 2018


Science Market

Free science activities for all ages on the Market Place in Abingdon


Tech companies, university departments and science organisations offering interactive demonstrations and activities.

In conjunction with Abingdon BID, we will once again run our popular children's "round the town" quiz-trail. 


Activities commence at 10am and last until 3pm. Last quiz entries must be given in for judging by 2pm. Winner announced at 2.30pm.



We are still taking registrations for organisations to participate in the above one-day event

Click here if you are an educational organisation or business with a technology story


Tuesday 13th March 2018

Professor Serena M Best:

Repairing Tissues in the Human Body - Pores for Thoughtan Body – Some of the first attempts to repair human tissue were reported as early as 1600 BC. Over time, the materials of choice have gradually changed from those that simply offer mechanical support to those that interact directly with the biological environment. There is now considerable interest in the delivery of biological cells to assist in the repair process and there is a need for the design of porous biomaterial “scaffolds” to achieve this. This talk will cover the recent work undertaken to study the structure and properties of scaffolds for a range of clinical applications in soft and hard tissue repair. 

Tuesday 13th March 2018 at 7pm at Coseners House Hotel, Garden Room

Wednesday 14th March 2018


Double Bill:                                                                                     From Conservation to Innovation

Dr Eleanor Schofield of the Mary Rose Trust and Rob Buckingham of UKAEA



Wednesday 14th March 2018 at 6pm at Our Lady's Abingdon


Thursday 15th March 2018


Double Bill: 

Science and Understanding

Two talks  exploring science, human understanding and its limits

Dr Alex Tester/Lawrence Tao

and Professor Marcus Du Sautoy



Thursday 15th March 2018 at 6:30pm at The Amey Theatre, Abingdon School


Friday 16th March 2018


Double Bill: 

An Evening on the Final Frontier

Two talks from leading scientists exploring the outer reaches of our understanding of space

Professor Frank Close and Professor Chris Lintott



Friday 16th March 2018 at 6:30pm at The Amey Theatre, Abingdon School

Saturday 17th March 2018

The Bessemer Society

Spinning out Science for Business Success: A Round-Table Discussion on the Risks and Rewards of Commercialising Science

Taking cutting-edge scientific research and commercialising it can lead to massive value creation and the emergence of game-changing companies - and even new industries. But there are significant challenges - financial, scientific, human - in doing this in Oxford and the Science Vale. In this round-table discussion, chaired by The Bessemer Society, three science and technology spin-off companies share the ups and downs of science commercialisation: what are the risks, where are the rewards, and how might science allow British companies to play for the biggest stakes on the world technology stage?

Saturday 17th March 2018 at 11:00am in the Charles Maude Room, Abingdon School


Saturday 17th March 2018

Dr Dave Martill

In Search of Giant Pterosaurs: A World Tour

Pterosaurs, flying reptiles of the Mesozoic, were originally thought to have been small aquatic animals and only 30 years later was it realised they could fly. Some evolved into giants as large as a Spitfire. This talk takes you around the world in search of these fossils, from the deserts of North Africa to the jungles of Brazil and the holiday beaches of the Isle of Wight.

Saturday 17th March 2018 at 11:00am at the Amey Theatre, Abingdon School


Saturday 17th March 2018

Mark Bradfield of BBOWT

Science and Conservation on the River

Abingdon sits on the banks one of the largest rivers in the country which provides nationally important habitats for a huge range of wildlife. The Community Wildlife Manager for BBOWT will illustrate some of the work that goes on to conserve and enhance the riverbank habitats in this area.

This is a live walking lecture with stopping points along a route of several miles. Time duration around an hour and a half. No steep hils but the route is likely to be muddy. Walking boots are advised.

There is no charge but registration is required via the ticketing system as there are only 30 places for safety reasons. Click on the link below to proceed with registration.

Saturday 17th March 2018 at 11:30am

Meet in the Market Place at the ATOM Festival Stall at 11:15am

Saturday 17th March 2018

Dr Martyn Sene:

Size Matters: Why Confidence in Measurement is so Important

This talk will provide an introduction to the importance of measurement and metrology (the science of measurement), how we can have confidence in measurements and why measurement today requires leading edge (even Nobel prize winning) science and technology.


Saturday 17th March 2018 at 1:30pm at the Amey Theatre, Abingdon School

Saturday 17th March 2018

Stuart Bonthron of Agilent Technologies

Stopping Bad Guys with Lasers

Using lasers to see inside stuff and gather unique fingerprints of what’s inside has some really useful applications. Stuart will discuss and demonstrate a range of techniques and products that use Raman spectroscopy in airport security, bomb disposal, pharmaceutical manufacture and others.

Saturday 17th March 2018 at 3:00pm at the Amey Theatre, Abingdon School

Saturday 17th March 2018

Professor Brian Rogers

Seeing and Believing

Is what we see affected by what we believe, what we know and what we think?  Does the world look the same to me as it does to you?  How do other animals see the world?  

These and other similar questions have intrigued philosophers and psychologists for thousands of years but it is only now that we are beginning to find the answers.


Saturday 17th March 2018 at 5:00pm at the Amey Theatre, Abingdon School

Saturday 17th March 2018

Philip Briscoe of Rezatec:

Out of This World: Examples of how Satellite Data is Driving Innovation

The increasing quantity and quality of environmental indicators and imagery tracked from space is creating huge new capabilities in the field of geospatial analytics. Combining Big Data analysis and machine learning with local expertise and observations on the ground is allowing huge leaps forward in areas such as disease tracking, natural resource monitoring, disaster recovery and environmental risk. Philip Briscoe of Harwell-based geospatial data analysts, Rezatec, provides an overview - and case studies - from the front line both in the UK and globally, and explains how combining these approaches promises the Holy Grail of earth observation: the ability to monitor, verify and enforce sustainable environmental practices for planet Earth. 



Saturday 17th March 2018 at 7pm at the Amey Theatre, Abingdon  School


Saturday 17th March 2018



Science Dome

Programme of exciting science films for young people in the Science Dome

First film show starts at 10:15am (half hour show)

Last film show starts at 3:15pm (half hour show)


Sunday 18th March 2018

Dr Andy Sparkes:

Domestic Cats: the Lion in the Living Room

Cats have been in the process of domestication for around 10,000 years, but are generally still regarded as semi-domesticated at best. This talk will look at the development of the domestic cat, its behaviour, some common misunderstandings and how we can better integrate cats as domestic pets in the future.



Sunday 18th March 2018 at 12 noon at the Amey Theatre, Abingdon  School


Sunday 18th March 2018

Dr Mike Dearnaley of HR Wallingford

The Challenges of Working with Water

Population growth, economic expansion and changes to natural hazards are leading to altered risks to people, infrastructure, the economy and the environment.  Global water demand is expected to increase  with water resources becoming scarcer. Global energy demand is expected to be higher in the future with the associated risk of increased greenhouse gas emissions, acceleration of climate change and exacerbation of global biodiversity loss, drought, flood and erosion risk.   Mike will illustrate some of today’s scientific challenges in the world of water through the work undertaken by HR Wallingford. 


Sunday 18th March 2018 at 1:30pm at the Amey Theatre, Abingdon  School


Sunday 18th March 2018



Family Science Fair in the Yang Science Centre


11am to 4pm



Abingdon School throws open the laboratory doors of the Yang Science Centre for families to interact with the science experiments and activities.



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