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The University of Southampton

Radiation vibe at Southampton Science Café

Published: 20 February 2008

The potential harm of ionising radiation, highlighted in recent events such as the Litvinenko affair, is examined when Southampton’s Science Café continues its series of talks on Thursday 21 February.

Jim Thurston from King's College Hospital, London will discuss ‘Is a little bit of Polonium good for you? - Current Issues in Radiation Protection’.

While ionising radiation has been used for medical and other purposes for over 100 years, the public perception of the risks resulting from such exposure has changed quite dramatically during that time.

Jim’s talk will give a historical background to the uses of ionising radiation, discuss some of the recent issues in the public domain, and also introduce the latest thinking on the actual hazards and risks of exposure to ionising radiation.

The Science Café, which aims to show how science shapes our modern world, is held once a month from 7pm – 8.45pm at its new home at the Soul Cellar, 78 West Marlands Road, Southampton ( ).

Each month a short talk (20-30 minutes) by world-leading scientists on their cutting-edge scientific research is followed by a question and answer session and a discussion of the science presented and its impact, all in an informal and friendly atmosphere.

Science Café Co-ordinator, Dr Christian Kaiser of the University of Southampton, comments: ‘Scientific research affects everyone. Yet most people do not engage with science at all because most of the scientific output is aimed at specialists rather than the general public. The Science Café provides a venue for discussing science and its impacts with experts in a friendly and informal way.’

The Science Café is free and no booking is necessary.

For more information, please contact Dr Christian Kaiser, Science Café Co-ordinator, on 023 8059 2073, email or visit

The University also has a varied programme of events planned for National Science and Engineering Week 2008 (7 - 16 March 2008), with opportunities for people of all ages to take part in science, engineering and technology activities. All events are free of charge.

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