Skip to main content

Cabot office weekly roundup – 7 December 2012



This week has seen a glut of news come from the Cabot Institute.  

1. £2M for risk management of natural hazards 
Natural hazards such as earthquakes, ash clouds, floods, droughts and storms can have a catastrophic impact on lives and economies around the world resulting in billions of dollars in financial losses. A new £2 million project, led by Cabot Institute researchers at the University of Bristol, aims to better assess uncertainty and risk of natural hazards. 

2. Accurate flood forecasting gets closer 
Heavy rainfall and the problems of flooding in towns have never been far from peoples' minds or the news headlines over the past few weeks. New research by Professor Paul Bates will help to accurately pinpoint which individual streets are most at risk from flooding during severe rainstorms. 

3. Government investment announced for National Composites Centre
Chancellor George Osborne today announced an investment of £28m to enhance the capabilities and capacity of the National Composites Centre which has world-class expertise and industrial-scale facilities that are being used to develop the technologies which will result in more fuel efficient land, sea and air vehicles as well as, for example, the next generation of wind and marine renewable energy devices.   

4. British team embark on ambitious Antarctic challenge
In December 2012 a team of British scientists, engineers and support staff, led by Professor Martin Siegert of the University of Bristol, will drill through 3km of solid ice into subglacial Lake Ellsworth in Antarctica. Their mission – to search for life forms in the water and clues to past climate in the lake-bed sediments – is one of the most exciting and ambitious explorations of our time.

5. Health services need to become more sustainable say researchers 
Health services need to do more to tackle climate change and resource depletion if they are to cope with the soaring prevalence of chronic illness say the authors of a new book. 

I’m going to leave you with the girls (and guys) in Psychology at the University of Bristol who have done a remake of the famous “Science: it’s a girl thing” video originally made by the European Union. This light hearted remake features some very lovely ladies doing what they do best...science and being real!

We have our Science Grrl calendar which we helped sponsor in order to help promote real women in science.  Looking forward to putting it up in the new year.  Get yours now!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Bristol Future’s magical places: Sustainability through the eyes of the community

“What is science? Why do we do it?”. I ask these questions to my students a lot, in fact, I spend a lot of time asking myself the same thing.

And of course, as much as philosophy of science has thankfully graced us with a lot of scholars, academics and researchers who have discussed, and even provided answers to these questions, sometimes, when you are buried under piles of papers, staring at your screen for hours and hours on end, it doesn’t feel very science-y, does it?

 As a child I always imagined the scientist constantly surrounded by super cool things like the towers around Nicola Tesla, or Cousteau being surrounded by all those underwater wonders. Reality though, as it often does, may significantly differ from your early life expectations. I should have guessed that Ts and Cs would apply… Because there is nothing magnificent about looking for that one bug in your code that made your entire run plot the earth inside out and upside down, at least not for me.

I know for myself, I…

The Diamond Battery – your ideas for future energy generation

On Friday 25th November, at the Cabot Institute Annual Lecture, a new energy technology was unveiled that uses diamonds to generate electricity from nuclear waste. Researchers at the University of Bristol, led by Prof. Tom Scott, have created a prototype battery that incorporates radioactive Nickel-63 into a diamond, which is then able to generate a small electrical current.
Details of this technology can be found in our official press release here: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2016/november/diamond-power.html.
Despite the low power of the batteries (relative to current technologies), they could have an exceptionally long lifespan, taking 5730 years to reach 50% battery power. Because of this, Professor Tom Scott explains:
“We envision these batteries to be used in situations where it is not feasible to charge or replace conventional batteries. Obvious applications would be in low-power electrical devices where long life of the energy source is needed, such as pacemakers, satellite…

Dadaism in Disaster Risk Reduction: Reflections against method

Reflections and introductions: A volta The volta is a poetic device, closely but not solely, associated with the Shakespearean sonnet, used to enact a dramatic change in thought or emotion. Concomitant with this theme is that March is a month with symbolic links to change and new life. The Romans famously preferred to initiate the most significant socio-political manoeuvres of the empire during the first month of their calendar, mensis Martius. A month that marked the oncoming of spring, the weakening of winter’s grip on the land and a time for new life.
The need for change Having very recently attended the March UKADR conference, organised by the Cabot Institute here in Bristol, I did so with some hope and anticipation. Hope and anticipation for displays and discussions that conscientiously touched upon this volta, this need for change in how we study the dynamics of natural hazards. The conference itself was very agreeable, it had great sandwiches, with much stimulating discussion …