Archive | Science

Dara O’Briain Hosts a Celebration of The Art of Science Writing


Whether it is searching for what makes us human, understanding the universe or even managing risk, the Royal Society Science Book Prize celebrates outstanding science writing and has created an incredible 30 year legacy.

Discover the Royal Society’s history and find out what makes a compelling science book, why public appetite for this genre of literature has gone from strength to strength and how popular science writing has changed over the years.


  • Dara Ó Briain, Comedian and presenter (Host)
  • Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Astrophysicist and Chair of judges 2012
  • Mark Miodownik, Professor of Materials & Society at UCL, and Prize Winner 2014
  • Vivienne Parry, Science writer and broadcaster

Room 700, Leeds Central Library

Wednesday 19 July, 7:30pm

This is a free event but please book your ticket here  

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Re-imagined at Thackray Medical Museum


KODAK Digital Still Camera

Thackray Medical Museum has been working with three artists to create a brand new exhibition which will see museum objects, not usually on public display, uncovered and reimagined.

Thread artist Hayley Mills-Styles, visual artist Louise K Wilson and digital story teller Gemma Nash, have taken inspiration from intriguing objects in the museum stores to create new art.

‘Thackray Uncovered’ presents objects in storage and explore new ways of understanding the museum’s collection through the collaboration of art and science. The exhibition showcases three very different pieces of work, inspired by very different museum objects.

“Working with Gemma, Louise and Hayley has been an exciting opportunity to explore areas of the collection that the public doesn’t normally get to see”, said Catherine Robins, Assistant Curator. “It’s also been a great opportunity for me to think about the collections in a different way.”

In conjunction with the exhibition, each artist will lead a public workshop, giving visitors the chance to try some of the techniques used in the artworks. Workshops cost just £5 and are suitable for ages 12 upwards. The first session will take place on 16th March with Hayley Mills-Styles, followed by Gemma Nash on 20th April and Louise K Wilson on 15th June. To book, please visit

The exhibition runs until 30th June.

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New Gallery, New Name & a Spacecraft

The Soyuz TMA-19M  spacecraft with museum director Jo Quinton-Tulloch & Bradford MPs Naz Shah & Philip Davies

The Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft with museum director Jo Quinton-Tulloch & Bradford MPs Naz Shah & Philip Davies

A state-of-art £1.8m interactive gallery, a new name, and the arrival of astronaut Tim Peake’s spacecraft are among a series of major launches at the National Media Museum, Bradford, this year.

Set to become the ‘National Science and Media Museum’, to reflect its focus on the science behind the magic of photography, film and television, the museum unveils its new gallery ‘Wonderlab’ with an opening family weekend on 25th/26th March.

Featuring UK-firsts and breathtaking live shows, Wonderlab explores the science of light, sound and images through state-of-the-art exhibits – including some that can’t be seen permanently anywhere else in the world. Visitors will be able to see their body split from their head as they walk, hear their voices echo through a 15m-long tube, experience an anti-gravity mirror and a musical laser tunnel, and watch one of the world’s first 3D-printed Zoetrope installations.

The museum has also confirmed that it will host the world-famous Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft that carried Major Tim Peake to the International Space Station (ISS) and back to earth. You will be able to see the spacecraft in September, when it travels outside London for the first time since it was acquired by the Science Museum Group in 2016.


Artist Akinori Goto installing his 3D zoetrope

Artist Akinori Goto installing his 3D zoetrope

“These announcements are not only incredibly exciting, but a significant statement of intent – that we are aiming to be one of the leading museums in the UK and worldwide”, said Jo QuintonTulloch, Museum Director. “The museum has a bright future and we are confident that people will be wowed by Wonderlab and its state-of-the-art exhibits, along with many other events.

“We want to draw in new visitors, encourage existing ones to come more often, and open a whole new chapter for the museum. Our collections across the technology and culture of photography, film and TV are unrivalled, and Wonderlab explores the science behind what makes these things magical in a very hands-on way.”

Wonderlab presents more than 20 mind-blowing, permanent exhibits including:

  • UK’s first permanent ‘Time Twister’ screen, which separates head from body
  • A waterfall that visitors appear to make hover in mid-air with their hands
  • The world’s first permanent 3D-printed zoetrope by Japanese artist, Akinori Goto
  • A 6ft sphere with spectacular animations of the sun and earth
  • Self-portrait photos timed to the exact moment a water drop splashes
  • A musical laser tunnel designed by Bradford-based artists Steve Manthorp and Shanaz Gulzar

Changing our name to the National Science and Media Museum makes it clear what people can expect when they visit us and the plans we’re revealing fulfill that promise”, said Jo Quinton-Tulloch. “It is the start of our long term strategy to look at our core subjects differently and inspire the filmmakers, photographers, scientists and engineers of the future. Ultimately, our aim is to take our place among the top international museums and build on our status as a key part of British, Yorkshire and Bradford tourism.

Owl Project installing sound exhibit

Owl Project installing sound exhibit

“The arrival of Tim Peake’s spacecraft is a huge coup for us – the first time it can be seen in the UK outside of London. It was at the centre of one of the biggest broadcast events of 2016 and will be yet another reason for people to visit the museum when it goes on display later in the year.”

The new Wonderlab will also feature a series of immersive shows in the new 70-capacity theatre. Visitors will be part of spectacular experiments – from creating art together by drawing the universe with light and movement, to recreating the sound of a thunderstorm. Other interactive experiences include shooting smoke rings from giant air cannons using sound vibrations, the chance to explore an Egyptian pyramid with endoscope cameras, and exploding balloons with lasers.


Bradford artists Steve Manthorp & Shanaz Gulza

Bradford artists Steve Manthorp & Shanaz Gulza

Entry to the new gallery and entire museum is free. For more information see


Link to Wonderlab TV and cinema advert:




Soyuz spacecraft at the Science Museum


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Acclaimed Love Story Featuring Live Robot on Stage Comes to Seven Arts


Pipeline Theatre’s Spillkin (a love story) comes to Seven Arts, Chapel Allerton, on Saturday 12 November. Featuring a state-of-the-art ‘RoboThespian’, the production follows the story of a woman with Alzheimer’s living with a robot companion. A deeply touching exploration of love, it premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015 to outstanding critical and audience response, including a nomination for the prestigious Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award.

It’s the 1970s. Sally likes Debbie Harry, Raymond likes making robots; they’re an unlikely pair. Fifty years later, after a long, childless and sometimes bumpy marriage, Sally has Alzheimer’s. Before Raymond died he created a robot, uploaded with his memories, to keep her company. It’s the ultimate love letter from beyond the grave: an endlessly patient memory-jogger and singing partner. But as Sally’s mind fades, will the robot be more of a comfort or a threat? Moving and funny, Spillikin poses big questions about love, death, and technology.

“Making work about what you know or desire to better understand, I think lends it integrity”,  said Alan Munden, artistic director and designer for Pipeline. “My mother has Alzheimer’s. I am frightened when I try to imagine her experience, but intrigued and excited to manifest it on stage, and wish I had the patience of a robot.”

To create Spillikin, Pipeline Theatre collaborated with Engineered Arts, a leading Cornwall-based robotics company, to bring one of their world-renowned ‘RoboThespians’ to the stage.

Pipeline Theatre is based in Cornwall, and creates text-based drama with high-end design. Spillikin (a love story) is the company’s third show. Its previous productions Transports and Streaming both toured nationally receiving five and four star reviews, and its most recent production Swivelhead premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2016.

@theatrepipeline | #spillikin | | |

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The Syrian Conflict, Immigration and Killer Robots to be Debated at Annual Politics Festival


The annual Festival of Politics and International Relations, a public event which takes place across the University’s City Campus from Tuesday 15 to Friday 18 November, consists of a range of talks and debates, providing opportunities for the discussion of key political issues and policy challenges facing our world today.

The festival is organised by the Politics and International Relations group within the School of Social Sciences at Leeds Beckett.

Guest speakers at this year’s Festival include: Richard Burgon, Labour MP for Leeds East, Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, asking ‘Can Labour win under Jeremy Corbyn?’; Jon Beech, Director of the Leeds Asylum Seekers’ Support Network (LASSN), discussing what can be done locally and nationally in response to the refugee crisis; and Federico Venturini of Leeds Friends of Rojava and Javaad Alipoor, co-author of Khiyana: Daesh, the Left and the Unmaking of the Syrian Revolution, making sense of the Syrian conflict.

Robert Sharp, Head of Campaigns and Communications at English PEN, an organisation which campaigns to defend writers and readers in the UK and around the world whose human right to freedom of expression is at risk, will tackle the issue of ‘no platform’ policies in university students’ unions which critics argue restrict free speech. Dr Paul Wetherly, Reader in Politics at Leeds Beckett, will lead a conversation exploring attitudes towards immigration; and Dr Steve Wright, Reader in International Relations, with Dr Jess Gifkins, Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Political Science, will ask ‘Should ‘killer robots’ be regulated?’ in an interactive session which will see guests represent a country in a mock-United Nations negotiation.

Events in the Festival are free and open to members of the public. For full details, and to book a place at an event, visit


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Free Event to Tackle Cyber Security


Dr Z. Cliffe Schreuders

An Innovation Network breakfast event for small and medium-sized (SME) business enterprises to gain an introduction to the impact of cybercrime from industry experts will be hosted by Leeds Beckett University at The Yorkshire Post offices.

The event, entitled Cyber Security: Impact and Opportunities, runs from 8.30 to 10.30am on Wednesday 28 September. Places are free and can be booked at

Speakers at the breakfast event, which has been organised in partnership with Digital Catapult Centre, will discuss innovative solutions and opportunities that are arising from the new cyber security sector. The event will also provide an insight on how growing SME businesses have been affected by cybercrime and what they could learn to protect themselves.

The speakers include: Dr Z. Cliffe Schreuders, Director of the Cybercrime and Security Innovation Centre (CSI) at Leeds Beckett University; Adam Beaumont, Founder and CEO at AQL; Lloyd Emmerson, Digital Fraud Manager for Lloyds Banking Group; and Ian Sharp, CEO of the Digital Health Enterprise Zone, Bradford.

“Innovation comes from looking ‘outside the box’,” said Katie Rigarlsford, Enterprise and Innovation Manager at Leeds Beckett University. “Through the Innovation Network we are committed to providing free learning to all businesses to help them to prosper in the region; whilst networking at the event also helps attendees to build their business contacts. Cybercrime is a growing issue affecting many businesses and this dynamic event will help attendees to increase their understanding of the issues.”

Dr Z. Cliffe Schreuders is currently engaged in, and coordinating, several research projects including: cybercrime and digital evidence in the police force; developing randomised capture the flag (CTF) hacking challenge software for computer security education, gamification applications to higher education; and designing usable mobile device security and access controls.

Mobile security specialist, Dr Adam Beaumont, formed telecommunications operator, AQL, in 1998 after working in Secure Mobile Communications for the Defence Evaluation Research Agency (an agency of the Ministry of Defence). He is a consistent innovator, providing one of the first integrated mobile messaging platforms – allowing businesses to remind their customers via SMS. AQL now hosts The Leeds Data Mill platform – an aggregation point for organisations, public and private, to share their operational data in order to provide a dashboard for the City and to allow analysis to improve and measure City efficiency.

Lloyd Emerson, Digital Fraud Manager at Lloyds Banking Group, first began his career working for Barclays Fraud team, an innovative and fast growing department within the Barclaycard network. At Barclays, he managed a computer system called ‘Falcon’, aiding to assimilate cases of fraudulent activity throughout the world. He then progressed into a role unique to Argos at the time with a vast remit involving directing the business and tackling all risk issues relating to internal and external crime. After a long tenure within retail, he moved back into the finance sector as the Cyber Crime and Digital Fraud Manager for Moneycorp before joining Lloyds Banking Group in 2014.

Ian Sharp is CEO of the Digital Health Enterprise Zone in Bradford, a partnership between the public and private sector to create a community of businesses, academics and health professionals with a focus on digital health. An experienced electronics engineer, Ian was President EMEA/APAC of Pace, the world’s largest set top box company, before leaving to start his own company, Khemeia Consulting, providing services for entrepreneurs and specialising in taking technology products and services to market.

Digital Catapult Centre Yorkshire is a place of innovation for start-ups and small businesses in the creative and technology sectors to develop and showcase their digital ideas and products and build their capabilities.

The breakfast event takes place at The Yorkshire Post’s offices at 26 Whitehall Road East, Leeds, LS12 1BE.

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Leeds College of Art & University of Leeds up for Times Higher Education Award

Copyright Paul Harness LS25 7HJ U.K.

Photo: Paul Harness

Leeds College of Art and the School of Earth and Environment (University of Leeds) have been shortlisted in the Outstanding Digital Innovation in Teaching or Research category of the Times Higher Education Awards 2016.

The shortlisted ‘Virtual Landscapes Project’ is a cross-institution collaboration, rendering a virtual landscape within a first-person computer game engine, to simulate aspects of geological field work. Students explore and interact with a virtual landscape before their first mapping class, visiting virtual outcrops to collect data, determine location, and map regional geology. Skills for conducting field geological surveys are introduced interactively and intuitively. Leeds students and staff have noted that the exercises are good preparation, with students making fewer errors in the field and having more confidence going into mapping. As the project has developed, virtual landscapes have been used to support students who are unable to attend field classes, and produced a series of “minimaps” suitable for use in schools teaching GCSE or A-level geology.


The project developed through a collaborative opportunity between Leeds College of Art and the School of Earth and Environment, forming an interdisciplinary bridge between Arts and STEM disciplines. It has been well received across the globe and is now in use in other UK Geoscience departments as well as at universities as far away as the USA and Guyana.

The eventual winner will be announced on Thursday 24 November at the THE Awards dinner and ceremony in London, where well over 1000 guests are expected to attend, including politicians, senior sector figures, and academic and professional university staff from all corners of the UK.

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Get Interactive With Leeds Beckett Students at the Digital Festival

Students and staff at Leeds Beckett University are set to showcase their digital creativity and innovation in the fields of art, music and healthcare as they take part in the Leeds Digital Festival, a multi-venue, city-wide festival celebrating digital culture in all its forms, from Monday 25 to Friday 29 April.

On Tuesday 26 April, from 3.30pm to 8pm in Millennium Square, students from a range of courses across the School of Computing, Creative Technologies and Engineering, and the School of Art, Architecture and Design, will present Test Tube, a live, interactive performance of visuals and music projected onto the Big Screen.

The students will create experimental and abstract visuals using everyday objects, light reflections and filters alongside music, which will be produced live on a laptop. Members of the public can interact with the workshop, by creating their own visuals or stepping into an effect camera feed to see an altered image of themselves on the Big Screen in Millennium Square. The event is free and open to all. For more information please contact Gemma Povey at

Test Tube is an extra-curricular outlet for students interested in experimental film-making, electronic music, and live collaborative performance”, said Ashley Dean, Senior Lecturer in Broadcast Media Technologies. “Through a series of diverse workshops throughout 2016, the group have been producing innovative imagery to be projected and recreated live on Millennium Square as the first public event; Test Tube #1. We will be joined by a diverse range of electronic musicians who will collaborate to form brand new and original Audio / Visual work.”

On Friday 29 April, from 5pm to 8pm, the Project Something exhibition will launch at an event, open to all, at Leeds Beckett’s Broadcasting Place on Woodhouse Lane. This is a collaboration between Benjamin Hall and Jonathan Briggs, Senior Lecturers in Graphic Arts and Design, and current Masters by Leeds Beckett Research students.

The exhibition, open to the public from Monday 2 to Thursday 5 May, 9am to 5pm, explores location, chance and storytelling within a post-digital landscape.

Benjamin explained: “Our exhibition brings together work that is at odds: global and local, digital and analogue, virtual and actual, static and dynamic, overlapping to recreate what is neither here (nor there). It features a series of engines that aim to generate stories dynamically, harvesting data from what’s expired. Jonathan and I share an interest in the narrative and narrative-less-ness of post-digital data and in presenting this in a new, visually interpretable format. Project Something will be a wholly interactive work allowing for contributions by the public which will inform and influence an on-going, non-linear narrative.” For more information, visit:

Additionally, on Wednesday 27 April, Leeds Beckett University will host the Digital Innovation in Healthcare Showcase in collaboration with industry partners from 4.30pm to 6.30pm in its Clinical Skills Suite in the City Campus Portland Building.

The showcase brings together speakers from a variety of digital innovation for healthcare perspectives, including IBM Watson and Current Care, and will see the University’s Clinical Skills Suite transformed into a ‘smart house’ to demonstrate the latest technology being used to promote independence in the home.

Chris Hudson, Associate Dean, Research and Enterprise in the Faculty of Health and Social Science at Leeds Beckett, said: “Digital technologies are transforming healthcare, and Leeds Beckett University is actively working in this area with exciting research and partnerships taking place across all areas of health, computing technology and enterprise.  Events such as this one are an excellent opportunity to hear about some of the innovative ideas emerging, and to network between academic innovation and industry enterprise. The event will be held in our state-of-the-art Clinical Skills Suite so is a chance to see how this is used to aid innovative practice in healthcare.”

The event is free to attend. Please register your place in advance at

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West Yorkshire Police and Leeds Beckett Tackle Online Crime

Security concept: Lock on digital screen


Digital crime experts at Leeds Beckett University are working with West Yorkshire Police to develop new ways of fighting cyber-crime.

Reporting directly to the Home Office, and supported by the College of Policing and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the project could ultimately help to transform the way digital crime is policed across the country.

The £640,000 project funded by the Police Knowledge Fund, is just one of those being undertaken by the Cybercrime and Security Innovation Centre (CSI Centre) at Leeds Beckett University which launched this April.

‘Cyber-enabled’ crimes are traditional crimes that can be increased in scale, or reach by the use of computers, networks or other forms of communications technology.

While overall crime rates fall, as we increasingly live our lives online cyber-enabled crime continues to increase, which is why tackling it is a key priority for the Home Office.

Ranging from online harassment to identity theft and fraud, across the country, recent research from the Home Office* suggests that up to around 5.1 million people – over 8% of UK population – are the victims of cyber-enabled crime every year. It is likely that the true figure is much higher.

As part of an exciting 18-month project, academics from Leeds Beckett University are working closely with West Yorkshire Police (WYP) to help train and develop a modern police force capable of taking the fight online.

The innovative partnership will offer researchers unparalleled access to the inner-workings of WYP as part of its commitment to developing a police force that is as at home online as on the beat.

The objective is to identify the knowledge gaps in digital investigations. The results will be shared with the Home Office, which, with the support of the College of Policing, is committed to helping police forces across the country to modernise.



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Make Some Noise! at National Media Museum

Make Some Noise
Families are urged to Make Some Noise at the National Media Museum during a FREE weekend festival dedicated to finding out how sounds are made and how we hear them.

Turning up the volume on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 March are performers, scientists, and musicians – all demonstrating some of the ingenious ways sounds can be produced in hands on workshops for the whole family.

Highlights include:

Make Some Noise! Family Show
Join the Museum’s learning team to investigate how sound travels, what sound waves look like, and how small noises become louder. Answers to these questions and more will be revealed in a fun and interactive family show.

Will it Play?
Visitors can learn how vinyl records work and experiment with lots of different objects to discover if they will play music. Will paper, polystyrene or plastic work the best?

Laser Drums
Performer Shirty Music demonstrates how to play the drums using light.

Sonolope: Spatial Music
Maria Kapsali from the University of Leeds and Simon East from Curvor Ltd create a 3D sound room which immerses senses in the world of spatial music.

Simple Synths
Dials are twiddled and wires connected to make weird and wonderful digital sounds in this hands on workshop.

Directional Hearing
Scientists from the University of Salford explain why ears are positioned on the side of heads, and how this helps sense where sounds come from.

Drawing With Sound
Artist Jerobeam Fenderson shows how to use sound to create art.

All these activities and more will be taking place during the Make Some Noise! Family Weekend from 10am – 4pm on 19 and 20 March. Entry to the Museum and all activities are free. Suitable for families with children of all ages.

The Family Weekend is part of the Make Some Noise! Contemporary Science Festival which includes Lates: Music on 17 March and more than 800 Bradford District schoolchildren taking part in contemporary science activities from 11 – 18 March.

For further details visit

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