I don’t like the way I look – is cosmetic surgery the answer?

When:
15 December, 2016 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Where:
The Greenbank Pub, The Greenbank Hotel, 57 Belle Vue Rd, Bristol BS5 6DP, UK
Categories:

nichola-rumseyA significant majority of young people and adults are unhappy with their appearance.  This dissatisfaction results in a range of negative impacts on their psychological wellbeing and physical health. If advertisers are to be believed, we will be happier and more successful if we look better.  The availability and use of cosmetic surgery and less invasive procedures to enhance or ‘normalise’ appearance has grown significantly in recent decades.  But is this the answer? Will these procedures make us happier? What might the increasing preoccupation with ‘looks’ and the positioning of cosmetic procedures as a ‘solution’ mean for society, and for the role and responsibilities of health and scientific professionals?

 

Nichola Rumsey is Professor of Appearance and Health Psychology at the UWE, Bristol and a member of a current Nuffield Council on Bioethics Working Party on cosmetic procedures. In this session she will outline the causes and consequences of appearance dissatisfaction, the reasons for the rapid increase in the provision and uptake of cosmetic procedures and the social and ethical questions these developments raise. She will invite the audience to debate whether, in a quest for happier lives, the enhancement of ‘looks’ is the best way to go. 

Soil – what it is and how it works

When:
19 January, 2017 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Where:
The Greenbank Pub, The Greenbank Hotel, 57 Belle Vue Rd, Bristol BS5 6DP, UK
Categories:

We are currently entering a period of dramatic global environmental change driven in large part by our activities and population growth. On a planetary scale, we are losing biodiversity due to land use change, polluting ecosystems with artificial fertilizers, and altering our climate that will all affect food and water supplies.

The functioning of soil is critical as a medium for plant growth, as a habitat for organisms, and as a recycling system for nutrients and organic wastes. The ecological complexity of organic matter decomposition is arguably the final frontier of ecological investigation. In this talk, I will describe and discuss the global environmental challenges of the 21st Century and explain how the functioning of soils will continue to play an important role in the development of a sustainable future.

Sam’s UWE webpage.

Why is science hard?

When:
16 February, 2017 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Where:
The Greenbank Pub, The Greenbank Hotel, 57 Belle Vue Rd, Bristol BS5 6DP, UK
Categories:

Science has evolved from the playground of aristocrats to the profession of artisans. From the theories of Galen to genetic engineering. It provides the most comprehensive description we have of why rain falls, why the sun rises and how people live and die. For the more commonplace, it informs how we brush our teeth, the food we choose to eat and how we build our homes. But despite this enormous reach into our lives, what science is and what it does is often obscure, uncertain and difficult to understand.

Using biology and medicine as a background, we’ll discuss what science is (and what it isn’t), whether it is hard to do and teach, and how it can be used (and misused).

 Lindsay’s Bristol University webpage.

Invisible gorillas: The limits of short-term memory

When:
16 March, 2017 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Where:
The Greenbank Pub, The Greenbank Hotel, 57 Belle Vue Rd, Bristol BS5 6DP, UK
Categories:
Our speaker is Robert Udale from the School of Experiment Psychology at Bristol University.
Short-term memory is a cognitive system, distinct from long-term memory, responsible for the temporary storage of relevant information.  We rely on it every day to hold things in mind, solve problems and to make sense of the continuous stream of incoming perceptual information about our environment.  I will talk about what short-term memory is, and give some examples of the important functions it serves in our everyday lives.  I will demonstrate some of the tasks which experimental psychologists use to probe the structure of short-term memory and talk about the current debate concerning how short-term memory represents information about the external world.  By Robert Udale

Science Film Festival

When:
14 March, 2017 @ 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm
Where:
Planetarium, Millennium Square

Details coming shortly…