National U3A Events




National U3A Events

Blue Skies and Fruit Flies: Patterns in Biology

13 Feb 2018  14.00 - 16.00hrs @  Francis Crick Institute, 1 Midland Road, London  NW1 1AT Details and booking via National U3A

(sign-in required) 


Spanish Treasures: Spanish Paintings at the National Gallery

13 Mar 2018

11.00 - 16.00 hrs @ The Sainsbury Wing Theatre, National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN

 Details and booking via National U3A

(sign-in required) 

 U3A Explores Science at the Ri  19 Mar 2018  13.15 - 16.45 @ The Royal Institution of Great Britain, 21 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS
 Details and booking via National U3A

(sign-in required) 



 National U3A Notices

Blue Skies and Fruit Flies: Patterns in Biology - at Francis Crick Institute on Tuesday 13 February 2018

At the new Francis Crick Institute in Kings Cross, London, scientists are working at the cutting edge of curiosity-driven or ‘blue skies’ research. The hope is that their fundamental discoveries will provide insights into major questions of human health and disease. Crick scientists Jean-Paul Vincent and Sophie Herszterg are working to uncover patterns in biology that could affect human health in the future by studying the incredible complexity of the fruit fly wing.

U3A members are invited to discover how insights from the humble fruit fly could affect the future of human health in this special talk, followed by refreshments and a chance to view the Crick’s new exhibition, Deconstructing Patterns. There will be plenty of opportunity for questions.

Speakers:  Jean- Paul Vincent and Sophie Herszterg - both of the Epithelial Cell Interactions Laboratory

Spanish Treasures: Spanish Paintings at the National Gallery on Wednesday 13 March 2018

Join National Gallery experts for a day of talks exploring the dazzling paintings of Murillo, Zurbarán, El Greco, Velásquez, Goya and Picasso.

The National Gallery’s collection of Spanish paintings is renowned as one of the finest in the world. It is arguably the best place outside of Madrid to study the work of Velásquez and holds masterpieces of the ‘Golden Age of Spain’, the great flourishing of the arts from about 1575 to 1700.

Tickets: £25 per person (lunches & refreshments not provided)

 U3A Explores Science at the Ri on Monday 19 March 2018

1.15pm Audience arrives

1.45pm Introduction by Martin Davies, Public Programme Manager, Royal Institution.

Andrew Hanson: Measuring Colour
Colour informs, influences consumer choices, warns us and comforts us. As with every aspect of life, it needs to be measured to ensure good communication and confidence in manufacturing processes for a diverse range of goods from pills to paints. But how do we ascribe numbers to a human perception which is incredibly versatile and variable? The challenge is enormous and human colour perception science is still a lively topic today. Be warned! This demonstration talk will contain surprises – there is a lot more to colour than meets the eye.

2.20pm Question and answer session (15 minutes)

2.35pm Anna Ploszajski: Smart materials
You’ve heard of smart phones, smart meters, smart watches… Well now it’s the turn of smart materials. In the future, solid objects will react, sense, change and move according to their surroundings. This won’t be a result of clever robotics or electronics, but rather the fundamental properties of the stuff itself. In years to come, we will be living in self-regulating houses, riding self-fixing bicycles, and driving on self-illuminating roads, all thanks to these so-called ‘smart materials’. These are metals, plastics, fabrics and fluids that react to the outside world without any human involvement, and they promise to change the way we live. In this talk, award-winning materials scientist and engineer Dr Anna Ploszajski will show you the smart materials that will make the material world around us smarter. Expect to see matter doing things you’ve never seen it do before!

3.10pm Question and answer session (15 minutes)

3.25pm Tea and coffee (30 minutes)

3.55pm Jack Ashby: The unnatural nature of natural history museums
Natural history museums are magical places. They inspire awe and wonder in the natural world and help us understand our place within the animal kingdom. Behind the scenes, many of them are also undertaking world-changing science with their collections. But they are places for people, made by people. We might like to consider them logical places, centred on facts, but they can’t tell all the facts – there isn’t room. Similarly, they can’t show all the animals. And there are reasons behind what goes on display and what gets left in the storeroom.

4.30pm Question and answer session (15 minutes)

4.45pm Close of meeting