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Global Science Local Impact
Fri 21 October 2016, 17:30 – 20:30
Manchester Metropolitan University and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre presents "Global Science Local Impact" as part of Manchester Science Festival 2016.
Hear how scientific grand challenges are connected to the citizens of Manchester, as world-leading European scientists work with researchers, students and artists to put big issues under the microscope. These include four grand challenges:
- health and wellbeing
- land use and degradation
- food security
- sustainable transport
The event will be hosted and facilitated by Professor Joanna Verran (Manchester Metropolitan) and Darren McGarry (European Commission Joint Research Centre).
World-leading researchers from the European Commission will deliver a short provocative talk dealing with the science behind each of the four themes. Manchester Metropolitan University academics (and students) will facilitate (and in some cases provide) a creative “local” response to each of the talks.
You’ll find out what it’s like to own an electric car, discover how Victorian Manchester’s sewage has become a crucial carbon sink, take the 5 second ageing test (will your muscles cope?) and savour some surprisingly tasty soil!
Refreshments will be served in the foyer area of Number 70 at 5.30pm and the formal programme will begin in the main cinema space at 6pm.
It is anticipated that the event will close at 8.30pm.
PROVOCATIVE TALKS (GLOBAL)
Will the electric car be killed (again) or is it the next mobility killer-app? by Mr. Christan Thiel (JRC Institute for Energy and Transport)
Christian Thiel is project leader in the European Commission's Joint Research Centre. Before, he worked in the automotive industry, amongst others, as European Engineering Project Manager for the Vauxhall Ampera. Christian's work revolves around future mobility scenarios. He works at the interface between science and policy and has published on the role that electro-mobility could play for sustainable transport.
Electric vehicles have been around for a while. They peaked more than 100 years ago. We will analyse what happened since and discuss if they have a bright future now.
Health and Wellbeing:
The Elephant in the Room! by Dr. Ciarán Nicholl (Head of the Public Health Policy Unit in JRC, Institute for Health and Consumer Protection)
Dr. Ciarán Nicholl is head of the Health in Society unit in the JRC's Directorate for Health, Consumers and Reference Materials. While our activities on health (and specifically on chronic diseases) are still relatively new to the JRC (since 2012), the unit has now 45 staff members and it's 4 activity areas are: 1. Developing a European Cancer Information System; 2. Developing an EU Platform for Rare Disease Registries; 3. Implementing the EC Initiative on Breast Cancer Services; 4. Tackling Disease Prevention and improving Healthcare Outcomes through Nutrition and Lifestyle
Citizens may be living longer but the chronic disease paradigm is going through the roof. No age group is immune to cancer, look at the stats on obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The increasing burden on our healthcare systems is beginning to show and experts say it's only a matter of years until our healthcare systems begin to collapse. But is all this really necessary … why are we not talking about the elephant in the room?
Food Security / Soil:
Dishing the dirt on soil: the world’s most undervalued resource! by Dr. Arwyn Jones (Head of the Natural Capital: Soil Project JRC)
Dr Arwyn Jones is responsible for the Natural Capital: Soil Project at the European Commission Joint Research Centre, located in Ispra, Italy. The group carries out research on topics ranging from erosion, contaminated sites and soil ecosystem services to biodiversity, in order to provide soil-related EU policies with a sound scientific evidence base. He is responsible for the JRC’s Soil Atlas Series including the recently published Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas and the ground breaking European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity. He is active in science communicating and raising awareness of the value of soil.
Soil is out of sight and, for most people, out of mind. People are readily excited by space progammes or certain experiments with particle accelerators. Yet the ‘dirt’ under our feet keeps us and the planet alive through the provision of food, fibres, fuel, clean water and the regulation of floods, greenhouse gases, nutrient cycles. Soils are also important in the preservation of our cultural heritage and underpin the economies of large parts of the world. This presentation will demonstrate the true value of soil, the pressures threatening its functions, how EU research is used to develop policies for sustainable soil management and most importantly, what you can do to preserve this ‘brown gold’!
Land Use and Degradation:
Beauty and Science of Satellite Imaging, by Dr Alan Belward (Head of the Land Use Change Management Unit, JRC Institute for Environment and Sustainability)
Dr Alan Belward works at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Italy where he is head of the Land Resource Management Unit in the Institute for Environment and Sustainability. Alan’s talk will focus on the beauty and science of satellite imaging in the context of looking at land use/degradation, particularly the theme of running out of land.
Alan’s interest is around the use of land, and how the demise of arable/green spaces is impacting on and impacted by climate change. He will also focus on global surface water and it’s use/misuse (‘greening’ of the desert in Saudi to grow crops for cattle, shrinking of the Aral Sea, etc.). His presentation will be highly visual with satellite images, supported by his talking around the topic and the images. He said he will try to dig out some Manchester specific images to make it more local for the audience – so perhaps some images from early 80’s and some ‘today’ images to show city expansion.
- Dr Jaimie McPhee (Reader in Muscle and Exercise Physiology, School of Healthcare Science, Manchester Met).
- Haleh Moravej (Nutrition Entrepreneur, Educator, Senior Lecturer, Founder and Catalyst of MetMunch, a student food and nutrition social enterprise).
- Professor Simon Caporn (Professor in Ecology & Environmental Science, School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Met).
- Thomas Higginbottom (PhD candidate, Appraisal of land degradation over sub-Saharan Arica using remote sensing, School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Met).
- Dr Chris Field ( Lecturer in Environmental Ecology,School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Met).
- Professor Joanna Verran (Professor of Microbiology, Head of School of Research, Enterprise and Innovation, and Head of Science Communication and Public Engagement in the Faculty of Science and Engineering, Manchester Met.)
- Darren McGarry (Head of the Communication & Public Relations and team at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. Responsible for communication specifically in the energy, transport and climate change domain. Areas of expertise include science communication, crisis communication, visualisation and interactive communication tools).
Where can I contact the organiser with any questions?