Talks and Interactive Events

The ATOM Family Science Fair


Bring the whole family to a fun-filled day of hands-on science activities, demonstrations and exhibits in the Jubilee Marquee at Rye Meadow, Abingdon. Whether you drop in for half an hour or stay right through, there will be plenty to excite and interest all ages.


Friday 3 June 2022, 11am - 3pm

Rye Farm Meadow, Abingdon

Free event

The ATOM Science Market


Free hands-on science in the open air! Come along to Abingdon's historic Market Place to meet real scientists offering have-a-go science activities for all the family for FREE!


Booking not necessary - just come along!


Saturday 11 June 2022, 10am - 3pm

Abingdon's Market Place

Free event


Dr Helen Czerski - A Physicist's Guide to Living On Planet Earth


Earth is our life support system in space, a spinning oasis made up of a vast collection of different atoms which are continually re-arranging themselves.  This talk is about how our planet works, and how we humans can learn to fit in.


Friday 17 June 2022, 7.30pm

Doors open 7pm

The Amey Theatre, Abingdon

Tickets £12.50/£6.25

Jubilee Special: How 70 Years of Science Changed Abingdon


In 1952, Harwell was just six years old. An influx of scientists was transforming Abingdon from a market town and home of the MG Midget to the international centre of science and technology that it is today. The talk reviews how our view of the universe has evolved during the second Elizabethan era and the key role that local science centres have played in this.


Wednesday 1 June 2022, 7.30pm

Doors open 7pm

Unicorn Theatre, Abbey Buildings, Abingdon

Tickets £5/£2.50

How Do We Know What That Is Made Of? An Introduction to Spectroscopy


For thousands of years chemists have been making compounds and chemicals, astrophysicists have been studying stars, planets and nebulas, and physicians and pharmacists have been purifying and synthesizing drugs and medicines. But how do we actually know what these things are made from? We can do chemical tests if we can actually touch it and take the sample to the laboratory, but for things that are too dangerous, far away or difficult to handle this isn’t possible. The answer is spectroscopy!


This talk will explain what spectroscopy is and how it works, as well as interesting examples and anecdotes from history and the modern day – including examples of what you can do at home!


Friday 3 June 2022, 4:00pm

Doors open 3:30pm

Roysse Room, Guildhall, Abingdon

Tickets £5/£2.50

Why did the Hedgehog Cross the Road?


Of the many threats that face hedgehogs the most important is the fragmentation of their habitat - and this is the one which many of us can take action. Make a hole in your fence, just 13cm across, and talk to your neighbours – make a Hedgehog Street! Hugh Warwick, spokesperson for the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, is on a mission to save the hedgehog - discover about these miraculous and beautiful creatures, and what you can do to help!


Wednesday 8 June 2022, 7.30pm

Doors open 7pm

Unicorn Theatre, Abbey Buildings, Abingdon

Tickets £5/£2.50

Why Small is Beautiful


Click your fingers. In the time it took you to do that, your fingernails grew by 1 nanometer. In this talk, Dr Annela Seddon explores nanoscience and nanotechnology – the science of objects on the billionth of a meter scale. Discover a hidden world of colour, giraffes and dancing particles and learn how we can see things not much bigger than an atom. You’ll find out what links the Romans and pregnancy tests, and have the chance to test out some fundamental theories of physics using Lego and a pair of oven gloves. You’ll also learn about how some of the biggest problems facing the planet could be solved with some innovative, and tiny, solutions.


Saturday 11 June 2022, 11:30am

Doors open 11:00am

The Amey Theatre, Abingdon School

Tickets £5/£2.50

The Ministry of Sense: Hunting the Higgs


Join anarchic scientist (and Science Comedian) Dr Sam Gregson in this original, hilarious and highly interactive science comedy show where the audience go through all the steps of the scientific method to discover the Higgs boson for themselves with interactive apps, physical activities and potentially the odd explosion! 


Saturday 11 June 2022, 2:00pm

Doors open 1:30pm

The Amey Theatre, Abingdon School

Free event

Moving in the Right Direction: the Astropolitics of Cyber Attacks Against Global Navigation Satellite Systems


From delivering food quickly to operating cargo ships, our world is wholly dependent upon space technologies and requires global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) to function. This global network of navigation systems provides positioning, timing and navigation services and underlies transportation, agriculture and even finance. However, they are very vulnerable from a cyber security perspective. Jessie Hamill-Stewart will discuss how states are increasingly prioritising independence of space infrastructure, reducing interdependence, and increasing likelihood of cyber-attacks against one another.


Monday 13 June 2022, 7.00pm

Doors open 6.30pm

Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot

Free event

The Schools Clean Air Monitoring Project in Abingdon (SCAMPA)


Ten local primary and secondary schools have carried out long term monitoring of local air quality indicators over the past two years, including nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM). At this exhibition, the school teams will explain the sources and effects of these pollutants; present the results of measuring them at their school sites and ask visitors for their ideas of how to reduce levels locally. Their findings indicate a clear link with higher levels of NO2 near busy roads as well as interesting atmospheric effects that increase concentrations of PM at ground level overnight.


Tuesday 14 June to Friday 17 June 2022,

Kempster Room, Abingdon County Hall Museum

Every Breath You Take: A User's Guide to the Atmosphere


Air pollution is big news these days – something we’re all interested and concerned about, but do we understand the science? Dr Mark Broomfield provides an interactive introduction to the atmosphere, drawing on material from his book, “Every Breath You Take: a user’s guide to the atmosphere.” Mark explains how air pollution affects us all, starting with whether we even know how to breathe properly (lots of us don’t!)


Wednesday 15 June 2022, 6:30pm

Doors open 6:00pm

The Amey Theatre, Abingdon School

Tickets £5/£2.50

Lonesome George: The Last Giant Tortoise of Abingdon Isle


Lonesome George is one of most famous reptiles that has ever lived, a giant Galapagos tortoise found in the remote Archipelago in 1971 on the tiny island of Pinta (formerly known as Abingdon Isle after the Earl of Abingdon). Scientists brought George into captivity and as the sole-surviving member of his species he became a living legend, a conservation icon celebrated the world over as the embodiment of extinction.


Saturday 18 June 2022, 12:00pm

Doors open 11:30am

The Amey Theatre, Abingdon School

Tickets £5/£2.50

Why Wild Bees Matter


Our wild bees and other pollinators are so important, but they are still the unsung heroes of the environment, gardens and countryside and continue to decline in number and range. The talk will identify what we can all do to help wild bees. Many of the actions we take to protect one pollinator species, such as flower rich habitat creation and reduction in pesticide use, will assist biodiversity as a whole.


Tuesday 21 June 22, 7.30pm

Online event

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