Cafe Scientifique is a place where, for the price of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. Cafe Scientifique is currently held at Wholly Bagels, 34 Knights Road, Lower Hutt, on the last Thursday of each month starting at 6pm.
What does surviving a Saharan sand storm and exploring a giant ice cave with robots have to do with space exploration?
Earthquake expert Russ Van Dissen discusses the effect the Cook Strait quakes are having on the chances of a big one rocking Wellington. He also talks about the behind-the-scenes work being done to minimise a potential quake’s impact.
3D printing is transforming the way we make things, all sorts of things - all the way from medical implants to guns! It’s also changing who makes things, where they’re made and who owns the designs. Eleanor Howick will talk about the technology behind it, and its strong connections with open source and open design.
Dr. Ciaran Moore, School of Engineering and Computer Science, Victoria University of Wellington - Photolithography is one of the key technologies that makes possible the myriad of electronic devices and gadgets that we use each day from engine control units in motorcars to mobile phones that take pictures and connect to the web each of these could not exist at the same size, power rating, or price were it not for the photolithography process. The pace at which new improvements and refinements are introduced to photolithography is breathtaking, too, with the minimum feature size that can be resolved shrinking by half roughly every two years since the 1960’s.
Genetic testing for familial breast and ovarian cancer has had recent media exposure following the announcement by Angelina Jolie that she carries a BRCA1 gene mutation. In New Zealand, families can request a risk assessment through Genetic Health Services NZ. The assessment involves collection of a detailed family cancer history. Genetic testing to look for a mutation in genes associated with hereditary cancer may be offered to families assessed as high risk and who meet certain criteria.
This talk will take a brief look at geothermal energy in New Zealand.
Where do domestic cats fit in the complex hierarchy of good and bad predators? The domestic cat is New Zealand’s top carnivore. In the light of recent publicity and ill-informed debate, two critical points are:
New Zealand is known around the world for its nuclear-free stance – banning US nuclear ship visits, saying no to nuclear power, selling the country as clean, green, and nuclear free. But New Zealand was once as excited about the dawning atomic age as any other nation.
Toxic algal blooms (cyanobacteria) have become common in many New Zealand Rivers. Large mats of black-green algae can cover large areas in rivers. Some algae species produce powerful neurotoxins are a serious health risk to humans and animals. In the Hutt River, toxic algae has been responsible for numerous dog deaths and health warnings on large parts of the river.
Ecological restoration is an idea that is close to many New Zealanders’ hearts. Many of us feel strongly about our natural heritage and believe it important to preserve our environment for future generations as much as possible, and to at least try to restore it when things have not been preserved as we would have liked. Human values play a very significant role, as they help determine whether a landscape is allowed to degrade in the first pace, whether we will then think it worthwhile to invest in restoring it, and to what extent.