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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Speakezee Presents... Southampton! Event

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
International Womens Week
19:15 - 21:45
12 March 2016
Studio 1, Richard Taunton College, Hill Lane, Southampton SO15 5RL

For more information regarding this event, please email Jessica Spurrell at .

Event details

Join us for an evening of stimulating talks and friendly discussion – open to all! As part of a nationwide launch of public lectures and discussions, ‘Speakezee Presents…’ is coming to Southampton on Saturday 12th March at Richard Taunton College. Three fantastic researchers will engage you in their fascinating work and give an insight into the ups and downs of their personal journeys as scientists.

In the light of the recent excitement over gravitational waves, our featured speaker, Professor Marika Taylor, will present the story of black holes: what evidence we have for their existence, how they form, and what they mean for the future of physics. Taylor studied under Professor Stephen Hawking at Cambridge before coming to Southampton.

Southampton PhD students Natt Day and Lin Haskins will also share their work on the common cold and climate change. Breathing is an essential part of everyday life but it also exposes us to all manner of viruses – what keeps us healthy? What happens when it doesn’t work? Humans are having a profound impact on the environment but climate change debate often loses sight of the underlying physics – how can models helps us better predict the future? Could they help us avoid – or recover from – major climate change?

The evening will finish with a discussion led by The Science Room (usually at the Art House). Join our panel of researchers in discussing unconscious bias and its effect on diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Are STEM subjects really as white, male and straight as they are portrayed? What barriers do female, BAME and LGBTQ scientists have to overcome and why? What are the effects of this on the STEM community and society as a whole?

The event is being run as part of the University of Southampton Science and Engineering Festival and is part of the city’s International Women’s Week celebrations.

Tickets are available through Eventbrite for £7.50 (£5 concessions) and include light refreshments.



Professor Marika Taylor

Black holes: Unlikely sources of enlightenment

In the last century, black holes have moved from being a disputed idea at the edge of physics to playing a central role in our understanding of the cosmos. They are also thought laboratories that illuminate theories of the fundamental laws of physics, and researchers are busier than ever trying to make sense of what they mean. Marika Taylor will present the story of black holes: what evidence we have for their existence, how they form, and what they mean for the future of physics.

Natt Day

An ode to the epithelial barrier: the unsung hero in your fight against the cold

Breathing is an essential part of everyday life—something we all do without having to think about it. But every single time we breathe in, we run the risk of inhaling a whole host of viruses that can cause us to become ill—but it’s a risk we’re all having to take. So why is it we don’t walk around constantly sniffling/coughing/spluttering from the latest cold we’ve caught? Look no further than our front-line soldier in the fight against the common cold: the epithelial barrier. In this talk, I’ll be exploring how this unsung hero keeps the cold out and what happens when this barrier isn’t strong enough to fight viruses off.

Lin Haskins

Climate change: Where we are and what models can tell us

Humans are having a profound impact on the environment, resulting in a fascinating array of readjustments and feedbacks. In order to mitigate the most severe consequences we need to understand the underlying science. State of the art computer simulations are used to explore climate dynamics and make predictions about how the earth system may respond to further emissions. However, the climate change “debate” often loses sight of the physics that governs the climate system. Lin Haskins will discuss the role of climate models in predicting future climate patterns, and modelling abrupt climate change events. She will also explore what can be done to prevent, or recover from, major climate change.

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