Café Scientifique is a place where anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology.
Enjoy listening to a short talk from a Bournemouth University researcher before engaging in debate and discussion around the topic. You can find out more about the international sensation that is Cafe Scientifique by looking at their website.
In Bournemouth, we run every first Tuesday of the month (with the odd exception). Since September 2020, we have been running events online through Zoom.
This activity is recognised under the Global Talent Programme and allows attending students to gain credit towards their Global Talent Award.
Wildfires and Us
Dr Marin Cvitanovic
Tuesday 7 December 2021
Every year wildfires engulf 3.4 million square kilometres of Earth’s surface – approximately the size of India. These fires have massive economic, social and environmental impacts and, due to climate change, are expected to increase in the future. However, wildfires are also a naturally occurring global phenomenon that many ecosystems depend on. Join us to discover how scientific research at Bournemouth University could fill in some of the gaps in this complicated relationship between humans and wildfires.
Climate change and coastal flooding – relocate before it’s too late?
Dr Lucina Esteves
Tuesday 2 November 2021
For an increasing number of people, coastal flooding and erosion are a real threat to property, the local economy and, in some cases, life. With the effects of climate change, this threat is quickly growing. Should coastal communities at risk be relocated before they are forced from their homes? Or could engineering and nature-based solutions provide the defences they need? Join us to discover the challenges faced by coastal communities in an uncertain climate furture, and what society could do to adress them.
Improving children’s mental health through movement
Dr Ashok Patnaik
Tuesday 5 October 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened children’s mental health, which was already in decline. Researchers have observed increased levels of anxiety, depression and other psychological distress. However, children with poor mental health do not always receive the support they need from schools and mental health services.
Stormbreak is a new programme that combines simple, fun movements with well-being techniques such as talking therapies and mindfulness, to help children care for their mental health. Join us to discover what happened when Stormbreak was trialled in several local schools, and where it could go next.
The Ixchel skeleton and the mystery of America’s early settlers
Dr Samuel Rennie
Tuesday 7 September 2021
The skeleton of a young woman, dated to almost 10,000 years old, was recently discovered by divers in Mexico. Her bones hint towards a short, hard life and raise questions about the first settlers to America.
The Ixchel skeleton, or Chan Hol 3, is one of the oldest skeletons on the American continent. What makes her stand out, though, is that she was healing from three traumatic skull injuries. Analysing her skull, and comparing it to others found in the area, led researchers to discover what might be a new group of humans. Join us to help unravel the mystery of America’s earliest settlers.
What has lockdown taught us about digital nature and wellbeing?
Dr Sue Thomas and Dr Hiroko Oe
Tuesday 6 July 2021
In 2013 Dr Sue Thomas spoke at Cafe Sci about her book "Technobiophilia". At that time, when ‘digital detoxing’ was popular, the idea of using technology to experience nature seemed transgressive. But the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that experiencing the natural world via our computers, phones and TVs can contribute to wellbeing in many ways. Whether it's watching animals on live-streaming webcams, sharing beautiful photos, or viewing nature programmes like Blue Planet, we have learned how to achieve a satisfying tech/nature balance. Dr Sue Thomas asks whether COVID-19 will change our view of digital nature and Dr Hiroko Oe reports from a Japanese perspective.
Predicting a post-Covid-19 economic future
Dr Festus Adedoyin
Tuesday 1 June 2021
Amidst the noise and confusion of the present, new scientific tools enable us to forecast the future. Advanced machine learning algorithms are tracing what the future could look like for countries with high death rates from Covid-19 and their potential for economic recovery. Comparing the UK with other similar economies like the United States, what can we learn, and is there anything we can do differently?
Are the world's ecosystems about to collapse?
Professor Adrian Newton
Tuesday 4 May 2021
Figures including David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg have recently drawn attention to the risks of ecosystem collapse. But what do we know about this process? What might cause an ecosystem to collapse, and what are the consequences? Join us to review our current understanding of ecosystem collapse, and how it relates to subsequent ecological recovery, drawing on examples from throughout Earth's history.
Restoring our Rivers – Removing Barriers to Fish Migration
Dr Catherine Gutmann Roberts
Tuesday 2 March
The barriers that once enabled major industry along the UK’s longest river may pose problems for fish that need to migrate up and downstream. Researchers from Bournemouth University have investigated how these weirs, locks and other infrastructure affect fish migration along the River Severn - and what could happen if they were removed. Join us to find out how our rivers might be restored to let fish to swim freely once more.
How does stress affect our diet?
Tuesday 2 February
We all know the importance of maintaining a healthy diet, but do our stress levels affect what we eat? Everyone will have their own experience, so BU researcher Karim Khaled has reviewed the research to get a clearer picture, focusing on women aged 18-49 and investigating what differences there might be between Europe, America and the Middle East.
Discovering the world's first farmers
Dr Sarah Elliott
Tuesday 1 December
Around twelve thousand years ago in the Middle East, the course of human civilisation changed forever - human hunter-gatherers became fully-fledged farmers, trading their small campsites for settled villages. But why? Why did it happen there and why then? Archaeological evidence is often limited or poorly preserved, so researcher Dr Sarah Elliott is looking closer, studying the microscopic traces people and animals left behind to try to solve one of the great mysteries of human history.
Hydrotherapy for learning disabilities
Tuesday 3 November
Researcher Carrie Tbaily is bringing her ten years of experience as a physiotherapist into the world of research, as she investigates the potential of hydrotherapy for people with learning disabilities. Join us to discover what a learning disability is and how this group of people is extremely diverse. We’ll also look at what current research can and can’t tell us about hydrotherapy, and how Carrie’ intends to shape her research plans to fill those gaps.
Revealing the secrets of ancient Egypt through Bioarchaeology
Dr Christina Stantis
Tuesday 6 October 2020
Ancient texts recount an invasion of ancient Egypt by the Hyksos, sweeping in from the northeast on chariots with innovative bronze weaponry, but is that what really happened? Modern archaeological techniques are changing the way we view this enigmatic 15th Dynasty of ancient Egypt – the first time Egypt came under foreign rule. Join us to discover how scientific research at BU is revealing an ancient, interconnected world.
There is no one quite like you: getting practical with your genetic uniqueness
Dr Anna Mantzouratou
Tuesday 1 Sept 2020
We are all unique, shaped by our genetic inheritance and the environment we live in. We all look different, not just clones of our parents. But with advances in genetics research and diagnosis, we are finding out that this uniqueness goes deeper. Each of us carries a unique genetic code that can influence our reactions to life events, such as the risk of certain diseases, how we respond to stress or our ability to have children. Discover the latest research in personalised genetics from BU and join us to discuss what it means on a personal level and how we can cope with knowing this information about ourselves.
The Dark Side of Personalisation: AI, Voice Recognition and Beyond
Tuesday 3 March 2020
“I’m afraid I cannot do that…” - a famous line from 2001: A Space Odyssey, in which the AI software HAL rebels to take control of the spaceship. We are now far beyond the year 2001 and we already have our own AI-supported voice recognition devices in our pockets, houses, and cars, used by adults and children alike. Luckily, they do not rebel against our commands - yet. These devices bring advantages in convenience and accessibility, playing a song has never been easier, but at what cost? Join us to discuss the ethics of the many new ways that companies listen to, track and store information about us using voice recognition and AI.
Crooked picture frames and ageing of perception
Dr Sharon Docherty
Tuesday 4 February 2020
How we experience the environment around us involves the brain combining information from our different sensory systems. Something as ‘simple’ as staying upright involves signals from our inner ears, joints and eyes. Join us to discover how our perception of upright changes throughout our lifetime, and how different medical conditions can affect this. It may also make you reconsider whether your picture frames are straight.
The secret information hidden in your hair
Dr Richard Paul
Tuesday 3 December 2019
As we go about our daily lives our hair is recording evidence of what we consume and of the environments we are exposed to. It can record how much you drink, whether you smoke or take drugs, or live or work in an environment where drug abuse is prevalent. Join us to learn about the technology used to analyse hair, and how it can be used in criminal cases, to investigate drug-facilitated crime, monitor alcohol consumption, and assess the exposure of prison guards to new psychoactive substances in UK prisons.
Hidden stories of online gamblers
Dr Elvira Bolat
Tuesday 5 November 2019
The stereotype of the problem gambler no longer holds true - digital connectivity means we are all now exposed to online gambling and the risk of addiction. Discover how platforms use artificial intelligence, targeted advertising and behavioural science to keep gamblers hooked – and how you can avoid falling prey to these tools.
The changing face of crime: how can we improve the recognisability of facial composites?
Dr Emma Portch
Tuesday 1 October 2019
Facial composites are computerised visual likenesses, constructed by witnesses and victims of crime, and released via the media in the hope that someone will recognise the constructed individual. While some composites are fairly accurate reconstructions that generate important investigative leads, others appear comical and may detract from the seriousness of the offence (who remembers the Cheshire Cat Burglar?). Join us to explore how psychologists can work with the police to improve the quality of composite images, have a go at recognising ‘celebrity’ composites and test your ability to generate accurate facial descriptions.
Eye tracking as a window to the mind
Dr Tim Slattery
Tuesday 3 September 2019
The movements of your eyes can reveal a lot about what you’re thinking. Join us to discover how researchers at Bournemouth University are studying eye moment, in order to understand the mental processes behind everyday tasks, such as reading and navigation. Alongside a talk, we’ll have interactive demonstrations to show what state of the art eye tracking technology is capable of. We’ll discuss how eye tracking is already being used and what the future may hold when eye tracking becomes more widespread, even embedded in our personal devices.
Can you save a life? Exploring the quality of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) delivered by bystanders
Tuesday 2 July 2019
Cardiac arrest is a sudden stop of the heart due to electrical failure and is a potentially reversible medical emergency yet, if untreated, it can lead to death within minutes. Every year in the UK, around 30,000 people receive resuscitation for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, with survival rates ranging between 2-12%. High quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is crucial in generating circulation to vital organs during cardiac arrest. However, it has been demonstrated that the quality of CPR delivered by a lay person, first aiders and highly-trained-rescuers is often inadequate, inconsistent and with excessive interruption, resulting in reduced chances of survival. This talk will highlight some of the research taking place at BU into the use of real-time-feedback to improve the retention and quality of CPR skills. You will have the opportunity to learn a bit more about the equipment and practice your CPR skills.
Can you save a life? We think so…
“All my life is in my telephone”: The lived media experiences of unaccompanied refugee children in Europe
Dr Annamária Neag
Tuesday 4 June 2019
By 2018, more than 80,000 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children were registered in the EU. That’s half of Bournemouth’s population. Refugee children pose considerable policy challenges, with their integration being of utmost importance. Studies show that refugee children have IT skills; however, they lack the ability to make critical media choices. This talk will present a research project that investigated how unaccompanied refugee children use digital technology and social media across four European countries – the Netherlands, Sweden, Italy and the UK. Media literacy education is one of the tools that could empower young refugees to become active citizens. We’ll discuss how these findings can assist in developing media literacy to encourage refugee children’s civic participation.
Pier Review: What does the future hold for British Seaside Piers?
Dr Anya Chapman
Tuesday 7 May 2019
Victorian seaside pleasure piers are unique to the British coast but this is important part of the country's heritage is under threat: in the early 20th century nearly 100 piers graced the UK coastline, but almost half have now gone. This session will chart the development of British seaside pleasure piers: from their beginnings as humble landing stages through to the 'golden age' of pier building. We'll also be looking at the current rejuvenation of piers, like Bournemouth, and how they are embracing the future. Come along and gain a unique insight into the past, present and future of piers, share your own memories of seaside piers, and let us know your hopes for their future.
The last one standing: Journalism for science democratisation in the post-truth era
Associate Professor An Nguyen
Tuesday 2 April 2019
The recent increase in scientific discoveries, not only offers hope for human fears and longings but also confronts fundamental aspects of life and long-accepted social and moral values. Without proper mechanisms for citizens of democratic societies to be meaningfully informed and to voice concerns over scientific advancements, they may find themselves stripped of the right to shape the science that shapes their lives. Ironically, the pace of science is too fast for citizens to follow, let alone have a voice. This talk first explores why science democratisation is the only way to tackle the growing science-society gap, which has been a catalyst for anti-intellectual and anti-science populist politics around the world. It will then examine why decades of ardent efforts by science institutions to close this gap have failed. Finally, demonstrate why and how science journalism, despite its many faults, may be the last candidate to fulfil this task.
I know what you did last summer: New persistent tracking mechanisms used in the wild
Dr Alexios Mylonas
Tuesday 5 March 2019
As the use of the Internet increases, so do the threats an everyday user faces. One of the most common Internet threats is web tracking, which enables an entity to gain unauthorised access to a user’s personal data while the user is browsing the web, thus violating user privacy. Over the years, many client storage technologies, such as cookies, have been used for this purpose and have been extensively studied. This talk will focus on three newer client storage mechanisms; Web Storage, Web SQL Database and IndexedDB. Presenting the results from a large-scale analysis of their usage, which examined the extent they are used for tracking purposes, we’ll discuss whether popular browsers for desktops (Firefox & Chrome) and mobile devices (smartphones & tablets) protect their users from trackers that use Web Storage, Web SQL Database and IndexedDB.
A ‘wicked challenge’: supporting our students’ learing with new technologies
Heidi Singleton, Liz Falconer and Debbie Holley.
Supported by BU learning technologists Dave Hunt and Stephen Pyne
Tuesday 5 February 2019
Education is changing – but what does this look like in practice? At Bournemouth University we are responding to research that considers how teachers of the future will work with their classes. What does the future of learning hold for students? Drawing upon examples from fields as diverse as archaeology and nursing, we will showcase recent innovations supporting student learning inside and outside their physical classroom. Later, the session will be interactive and you can take part by downloading the google cardboard ‘app’ for free, and join us in trying out different scenarios. We will have phones and cardboards for you to try out so don’t worry if you don’t have a phone. All welcome, and no technical skills needed.
The physiology of living life to the extreme
Dr Rebecca Rendell
Tuesday 4 December 2018
Is the original secret to the domination of the human race simply physiology? Our body goes through a lot every day, but can it endure a whole lot more: from surviving life on the ice-caps to performing extraordinary feats of endurance in the desert, we can adapt to almost anything. This talk will explore how our bodies respond to extreme environments, the risks we face and how we might manipulate these scenarios to our advantage.
Working together: When your mind is in my mind
Dr Xun He
Tuesday 6 November 2018
Human beings are evolutionary shaped social animals. We often play and work together either independently or aiming at common goals. Have you ever wondered, when we are engaged in group activities, whether we perform everyday tasks in the same way as we do them alone? Recent findings in psychology showed that one person’s cognition and behaviour (such as attention, memory, perception, and action) can be shaped by another person who performs similar tasks in the same environment. But the answer to the question is more complicated than a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. This talk will introduce these findings and explain the theories behind the phenomena. You will see psychological experiments in action and be engaged with some tests and discussions.
Bournemouth Café Scientifique is turning 6 on Tuesday 2 October. To celebrate we have a fantastic talk from Dr Curie Scott about changing our attitudes to ageing. We’ll also have Birthday Brownies!
Dr Curie Scott – Facing our future self
Tuesday 2 October 2018
One in five people alive today will reach their 100th birthday. You are going to grow old but have you thought about it? Ageing is a taboo subject and older people are often stereotyped and overlooked. Dr Curie Scott invited people over 60 and students from Health & Social Care professional courses to four drawing workshops. Come and hear how drawing about ageing made a startling difference to their current lives. In terms of ageing, we cannot separate ourselves from our future older self, however much we want to do so. ‘They’ are the ‘we’ of the future.
‘Invisible Presence’: Women, STEMM, and News and Popular Culture
Dr Shelley Thompson & Alexandra Alberda
Tuesday 4 September 2018
What does expertise in STEMM subjects (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) look like? Who are our experts in these fields? When we look at representation of expertise in narratives about STEMM in popular culture and news, women are virtually absent. This session explores the power of media representation and specifically the representation of STEMM in news and popular culture and asks us collectively to consider what role media can and should play in addressing the under representation of women in STEMM.
Why sharks prevent climate change: the need for a new view of ocean management
Professor Rick Stafford
Tuesday 3 July 2018
Unlike other animals we eat, fish generally eat other fish, and sharks are right at the top of the food chain. Our exploitation of ocean resources for food (or even for prestige and status in the case of shark fins) has drastically changed the ecology of the oceans. In this Café Scientifique, we will explore ways to manage the ocean that go beyond the simple ‘Maximum Sustainable Yield’ concept of fisheries management. It will examine the connections between what lives in the sea, and the vital role the ocean plays in protecting the planet; and you will learn why sharks and whales are key players in the fight against climate change.
The power of bubbles
Tuesday 5 June 2018
The interaction of gas bubbles, in liquids, with sound is of great interest to us. Bubbles generate sounds in the ocean that can help understand the rate of gas transfer between the atmosphere and sea while also confounding sonar in shallow waters. Bubble acoustics has a number of powerful applications in the ocean, industry, medicine and defence. This talk will cover a few of the applications, with particular focus on recent research into novel sonar techniques to improve active sonar in bubble-filled environments.
Keeping your fingers crossed for a healthy old age?
Dr Clare Killingback
Tuesday 1 May 2018
The good news is that staying physically active as we age has the potential to improve out health and well-being. The bad news is that many of us are not active enough to reach those gains and become even more inactive the older we get. Some types of exercise have been more successful in helping older people stay active. One example is community-based group exercise programmes. Dr Killingback spent three years studying why some of these programmes seem to work so well. Come and see the findings for yourself to understand how we can help older people engage in a more active lifestyle so they can ‘use it rather than lose it’.
Connecting women and vocation: Understanding the story after war
Dr Varuni Wimalasiri
Tuesday 3 April 2018
Women’s experience of war is unique. They often have to hold onto caring duties for their families and are generally more vulnerable than men during their passage to safety. Their experiences during war shape their behaviour during resettlement and often they take on empowered roles in peace-building and regeneration. This is also evident on how they use work to reclaim their lives. The post-war work in Sri-Lanka is a good example where empowering women’s livelihoods and work lives have borne fruit for entire communities. Varuni Wimalasiri will talk about two case examples from her work with Palmera in Sri-Lanka and her current project ‘Woman’s Work’ on resettlement, women and their work-lives in the UK.
BRANES – Building Resilience and Awareness through Neuropsychology Education in Society
Dr Shanti Shanker
Tuesday 6 March 2018
The BRANES project is built on a previous project that used creative workshops (using graffiti) in adults diagnosed with dementia and their care partners. One of the aims of this project is to increase awareness of the role neuropsychology can play in overcoming the effects of certain conditions (e.g. stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, brain injury, dementia) in the general public. Join us at Cafe Scientifique where Dr. Shanker will share background, rationale and the outcomes of this project.
Conserving biodiversity in a dynamic world: Are we spending conservation resources wisely?
Dr Phillipa Gillingham
Tuesday 6 February 2018
Not all species are found everywhere: polar bears have evolved to live in arctic conditions, whilst sloths live in the tropics. Recent climate change has caused many species to change their distributions to try and track suitable conditions. However, efforts to conserve and protect species generally concentrate on designating and managing protected areas for them, of which the borders do not move. Does this mean that protected areas are a waste of time and money given that the climate is likely to continue to change and species are going to continue to track new living conditions? Come along to Cafe Scientifique to find out.
How well can you hang a picture frame?
Dr Sharon Docherty
Tuesday 7 February 2017
‘It’s just the way it is: why humans doubt facts if they contrast belief’
Dr Darren G. Lilleker
Tuesday 7 March 2017
Going for Gold! 3D Scanning and 3D Printing of Ancient and Modern Jewellery: The Law and Technology
Professor Dinusha Mendis
Tuesday 4 April 2017
“Be quiet! You will wake up Alexa!” – Ethical and Legal Implications of Human-Machine Interaction in the era of Social Robots
Dr Argyro Karanasiou
Tuesday 2 May 2017
New Zealand frogs – The ancient weirdos of the amphibian World!
Professor Phil Bishop, University of Otago
Tuesday 6 June 2017
Let’s talk about genetics
Research assistant Ayesha Pyke
Tuesday 4 July 2017
‘All eyes on inflammation in age-related macular degeneration’
Professor Jessica Teeling, University of Southampton
Tuesday 5 September 2017
Breathe your way into balance
PGR Francesco Ferraro
Tuesday 3 October 2017
Is it okay for us to comment on Paralympic coverage?
Dr Carrie Hodges
Tuesday 7 November 2017
BU’s Health and Migration Research in Nepal
Professor Edwin Van Teijlingen
Tuesday 5 December 2017
Finding your way: Understanding how environments can influence navigational abilities
Mary O’Malley, Bournemouth University Dementia Institute
Tuesday 7 July 2016
Sex, Violence and Popular Culture
Dr. William Proctor
Tuesday 5 July 2016
Are you a digital addict?
Dr John McAlaney, Bournemouth University
Tuesday 6 September 2016
Getting drunk with 302 brain cells – what we learn from a worm?
Prof Lindy Holden-Dye, Southampton University
Tuesday 4 October 2016
Antibiotic Resistance: Urban Myth or Zombie Apocalypse?
Dr Liz Sheridan, Poole Hospital
Tuesday 1 November 2016
Would you have your genome sequenced?
Dr Catherine Mercer, University Hospital Southampton and Dr Frank Ratcliff, Wessex Academic Health Science Network.
Tuesday 6 December 2016