May
29
12:00 PM12:00

Talk by Dr. Mary Brazelton, Dept of History & Philosophy of Science

Fighting Plagues in Southwest China: A case study in the history of science

This paper provides a brief introduction to the discipline of the history of science using a case study set in wartime China. During the Second World War, infectious disease was a more fearsome enemy than invading armies for many in China, then under partial occupation by Japan. To fight these epidemics, China’s Nationalist government sponsored projects to research and develop vaccines against smallpox, cholera, and typhoid fever. After a brief introductory discussion of historical approaches to the sciences, this paper evaluates the significance of biomedical research in wartime China, focusing on one laboratory in the small city of Kunming that took responsibility for providing immunizations to the whole of China’s unoccupied territory, and its connections to a global community of immunological researchers.

Location: Small Lecture Theatre, Bragg Building, Cavendish Laboratory

Event open to all!

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May
22
1:00 PM13:00

Moving towards Ultra-fast magnetic memories: A Talk by Dr Chiara Ciccarelli, Microelectronics Group, Cavendish Laboratory

Abstract of talk: 

How does electricity affect a magnet? The interaction between electricity and magnetism is an important topic in technology, especially in data storage where nano-scale magnets store information in hard-drives and are expected to do likewise in emergent technologies. The first to realise a connection between electricity and magnetism was Oersted more than two centuries ago. In the past 50 years this question underlay a fast-moving area of experimental and theoretical research. 

In this talk, I will tell you how my research has evolved during my years in Cambridge. In particular, in the past five years I have been very interested in studying the peculiar locking between charge and spin that occurs in special classes of ferromagnets. This locking is induced by a relativistic effect and allows manipulating the magnetisation of the ferromagnet by simply applying a voltage to it and, vice versa, to detect the magnetisation orientation via a voltmeter.

Thanks to the support from the Winton and Royal Society I have decided more recently to make a jump forward in terms of timescales and study these spin-charge phenomena at much higher speeds by using a femtosecond laser. 

Location: Small Lecture Theatre, Bragg Building, Cavendish Laboratory

Event open to all!

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May
8
1:00 PM13:00

Photovoltaics: the cutting edge and the bottom line - a talk by Dr. Louise Hirst, Semiconductor Physics Group, Cavendish Laboratory

Abstract of talk:

The photovoltaics industry has seen rapid expansion in recent years, with dramatic cost reductions in silicon technologies driving exponential growth in installed electricity generation capacity. Despite mainstream uptake of photovoltaics for domestic power there is still a critical need for scientific innovation in this field to meet the needs of a diverse range of alternative applications, including powering satellites, unmanned vehicles and consumer electronics.

My research focuses on the development of novel photovoltaic device concepts with III-V materials such as GaAs. These systems already deliver unprecedented solar energy conversion efficiency and with emerging new materials and device structures, such as nanophotonic integration, they also offer other desirable characteristics including low mass, radiation tolerance and flexible form factors, which cannot be readily addressed by standard silicon technologies. In this talk I will discuss the cutting edge of research in this field as well as the bottom line in terms of practical and affordable applications for these technologies.

About Dr. Hirst:


I received my PhD from Imperial College London and was a post-doc, research fellow and eventually staff scientist at the US Naval Research Laboratory, home to many notable technological breakthroughs including the first solar powered satellite (Vanguard 1). I am currently a lecturer jointly in the Physics department and Materials Science and Metallurgy department and mother to a one year old daughter. In this talk I will also address some of the challenges women and men can face building careers as research scientists and academics.

Location: Small Lecture Theatre, Bragg Building, Cavendish Laboratory

Event open to all!

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May
1
1:00 PM13:00

Science funding is a gamble so let's give out money by lottery: A talk by Dr. Shahar Avin, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk

Abstract of talk:

Researchers in universities mostly get paid through competitive grants from governments: they write proposals detailing the research they want to do, and other researchers review these proposals and decide which ones should get funded (the process is known as 'grant peer review'). There are many criticisms of peer review, including charges of conservatism, inefficiency and bias. However, it is hard to evaluate these criticisms given confidentiality of data and lack of alternative funding mechanisms. In my PhD research, I used computer simulations to explore alternative funding models, and found out that giving money out at random, by lottery, can be more efficient and less biased than grant peer review. In the talk I will discuss the funding landscape for research, my methodology and results, and some possible implications for the real world.

Location: Small Lecture Theatre, Bragg Building, Cavendish Laboratory.

Event open to all!

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Mar
6
7:00 PM19:00

Lent Term Formal @ Queens'

Join us for our Lent term formal with Dr. Helen Mason, OBE.

Helen is a solar physicist with particular expertise in the analysis of the ultraviolet (UV) and X-ray spectrum from the solar atmosphere. She is also involved in many outreach projects, inspiring school children about science.

The evening will start with a drinks reception, followed by a three course meal. After the dinner, we will have a talk by Helen with time for discussion.

Get tickets here by 23rd Feb as places are limited! 

Open to women and non-binary members of the Physics department. 

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Feb
8
12:30 PM12:30

Decolonising Science Reading Group: Session Two

In the next session of our reading group, we will be discussing the article: Making meaning of decolonising by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein. Available at: https://medium.com/@chanda/making-meaning-of-decolonising-35f1b5162509

We will be meeting in the White Meeting Room at Maxwell Centre. Some of you may remember Chanda's incredible talk last year on cosmology and her experiences as a Black, Jewish, queer and femme physicist. This will be a chance to discuss her work in more depth and will also be a good introduction into the project of decolonisation.

Hope to see you there!

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Jan
25
12:30 PM12:30

Decolonising Science Reading Group: Session One

We are kicking off with the first event of our term through the Decolonising Science Reading Group. 

We aim to analyse the narratives we tell about science - how it is often presented as a Western/Eurocentric project recently brought to non-Western communities (and often used as a tool in colonialist projects). We aim to deconstruct these narratives and focus on ways that other communities in the globe have been instrumental in creating science, so we can extract science from the colonialist project and create a more mindful and critical picture.

The readings will include feminist and intersectional critiques/analyses of science and of its structure and aims.  We plan to hold these sessions every fortnight.

The first session will be on the following article:

Has Feminism Changed Physics? by Amy Bug. Available at: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/345323

Location: Orange boardroom, Maxwell Centre (directions below)

This group is open to everyone interested in discussing and learning about these issues. You don’t need to know anything about any of these things beforehand, we will all learn together! During the year we will also try and invite speakers on the subject the readings will include feminist and intersectional critiques/analyses of science and of its structure and aims. If you want to find out more, check out more info on decolonising science here.

Hope to see you there!

(Directions to the Orange Boardroom:

If you enter the Maxwell Centre from JJ Thompson Ave- and are standing in the lobby on the same level as the reception desk--head up the stairs and straight to the back of the building (the east side), and you'll run into a room with all orange walls!)

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Nov
22
6:00 PM18:00

"Inferior, how science got women wrong"

Angela Saini, science journalist, in conversation with Dr. Kirstie Whitaker

Angela Saini is taking her new book, Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story, on a tour of UK universities to talk about the women in science. We will host Angela in Cambridge, where she will present her new book in a conversation with Dr Kirstie Whitaker, Dept of Psychiatry.

Inferior is about the mistakes and bias that have plagued scientific research on women for more than a century, and the empowering new work that promises to transform the way we think about women’s minds, bodies and place in the human evolutionary story.

Angela Saini is an award-winning British science journalist and broadcaster. She presents science programmes on BBC Radio 4 and the World Service, and her writing has appeared all over the world, including in New Scientist, the Guardian, and Science.

Book your free ticket here:

https://ciw-inferor.eventbrite.co.uk

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Oct
25
1:00 PM13:00

What is it like to be a woman in STEMM? Gender bias, sexual harassment, and the myth of meritocracy

  • Small Lecture Theatre, Bragg Building (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Dr. Meredith Nash

University of Tasmania

Women are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) fields worldwide, particularly in leadership positions. In this presentation, Dr Nash will discuss her findings from an ongoing mixed-methods sociological study drawing on the experiences of 25 women in STEMM fields who were all participants in a three-week transformational leadership program in Antarctica in 2016. She will use a feminist intersectional analysis to examine the women’s experiences of science leadership, including challenges they face as women in male-dominated fields.

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Jun
7
5:00 PM17:00

Strength of a Woman - Dr. Rebecca Karanja

Strength of a Woman: Academic, wife and mother in Kenya

Dr. Rebecca Karanja

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi

Dr. Rebecca Karanja is a plant ecologist and university lecturer who will be discussing her career and reflecting on the challenges she has overcome as a woman working in science, personally and professionally, and especially on the particular challenges of being a researcher in Kenya. 

Please join us and the NanoDTC in welcoming Rebecca to Cambridge, and for an interesting and frank discussion comparing and contrasting the challenges of working in Nairobi and Cambridge. 

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Mar
8
12:30 PM12:30

More Diversity = Better Science

 

12:30 - 13:30: Launch over Lunch

Andy Parker and Rachael Padman will talk shortly about their new vision for the shared ‘Team Cavendish’ values
...followed by NANNA MEXICO lunch served in the Foyer

17:00 - 18:30: Evening Talks

Prof Meena Upadhyaya (Cancer and Genetics, Cardiff University)
Will speak about her career and her experience as a champion of women in science.
-
Dr Thekla Morgenroth (Psychology, University of Exeter)
What is affirmative action?
What are it’s positive and negative effects?
How to frame AA policies?

Followed by nibbles and drinks in the foyer

**Free Cavendish tote bags and lanyards commemorating diversity in science**

Register your interest: https://www.facebook.com/events/606667559526453/

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Nov
22
7:00 PM19:00

Formal Dinner: Darwin with Prof. Fowler

Join us for a formal dinner at Darwin College, hosted by Prof. Mary Fowler. Prof. Fowler is a geologist and the Master of Darwin College.

We will have a four-course dinner, followed by an informal talk by Prof. Fowler.

A great way to meet fellow physics students and socialise across research groups!

Open to all women and non-binary physicists across all post-graduate academics levels (PhD students, post-docs, JRFs and academics)

Sign up here: http://onlinesales.admin.cam.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=1&deptid=93&catid=218&prodid=3057

 

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Oct
25
5:00 PM17:00

Lecture: Prof. Fay Dowker

Prof. Fay Dowker - Imperial College London

Inner Space, Outer Space: General Relativity and Human Experience

Our best theory of gravity, General Relativity (GR) is over 100 years old.  In the years since its creation, GR has been very successful in explaining the physics of Outer Space: of the solar system, of galaxies,of gravitational waves and of the whole universe on the largest scales that we can observe.

I will give an account of some of the underlying concepts of General Relativity that emphasises something rather different namely their more intuitive aspects. I will appeal to the Inner Space of our conscious perceptions to argue that GR is not just more scientifically accurate but more in tune with our intimate experience than its predecessor theory, Newtonian Gravity. It also has something to say, I believe, about the way we understand the physical world that can have an impact on our views on all aspects of our lives. General Relativity leaves one puzzle unsolved however: how to explain our experience of the passage of time. 

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Oct
19
5:00 PM17:00

Welcome Party

A chance for all women and non-binary folk in the department to meet each other and to welcome the new students! Female academics in the department and in other departments are showing their support by attending this party, so you will be able to meet them too!

We will introduce CiW's aims and activities for the year, and there will be laptops out for you to sign up to our mentoring scheme if you wish!

Prof. Val Gibson will be talking to us briefly about the importance of support networks for Women in science, and about schemes such as Athena Swan and Juno project, in which she is heavily involved.

Drinks and nibbles provided!

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