Serendipity

 

Serendipity:     A Pleasant Surprise or Happy Accident.  According to a Persian fairy                                      tale, the three Princes of Serendip were  ”always making discoveries, by                                    accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of.                                                                                                                                                   (Horace Walpole)

This is an eclectic and random collection of informal talks or discussions on intriguing topics.  Pick the ones that pique your interest.

When:                        2:00 – 4:00

Where:                      Uniting Church Hall, Dodgin Street

Wed. Sept. 6            Mars as the Abode of Life                     David Wookey

Mars has long held a fascination for humanity. We will consider the planet, its moons, how its orbit led to the scientific revolution in the 17th century and the speculation that life has, and maybe still exists, along with the intriguing possibility that we are descended from Martians.

Wed. Sept. 13          Public Speaking                                         Mary Kille

Not a pain but a pleasure!

 Wed. Sept. 20          Edible Tasmanian Native Plants        Rees Campbell

Be amazed by the richness of Tasmania’s botanical larder. Explore the over 100 edible native plants you can grow in your own garden, and the myths surrounding poisonous things in the bush.

Wed. Sept. 27          How do you find ore deposits?              Glen Boyle

How do you find a naturally occurring deposit of material that is going to make you money? Do you look under or around old mines? Do you walk up streams filling bags with mud and gravel? Do you tramp through the trackless wilderness digging holes and filling bags (again)?   All will be revealed.

Wed. October 4      Eyes on the Skies                                         Alan Wright

Australians have been pondering the heavens above us for well over 60,000 years.  But only with the invention of telescopes a few hundred years ago did we begin to understand the true immensity of the universe.

In this talk, Alan takes us on an intriguing historical journey of astronomy, starting with stories from “The Dreamtime”, moving on to discover the history of the telescope, and culminating with Australia’s enormous, modern instruments and how they are being used today.

Wed. October 11   Birds of Our Region                                     Col Meyers

Have you ever wondered what bird that is? This session will be a slide slow of Mike Hyland’s photos depicting many of our local native species.

Wed. October 18   News and Views                                            Mal Kearney

News is ideally an attempt to report facts objectively without the opinion of the reporter or his or her publication, but it is increasingly a platform for points of political and social views intended to bolster the like-minded and to lure the doubtful. We explore the sources of news, which you can trust and what’s a healthy news diet. Bring examples of news reporting that confounds, excites or offends.

Wed. October 25   Fritz Haber:  Benefactor or Monster?      Mervyn Mitchell

Arguably no other man’s discoveries have had a greater impact on mankind than those of the German chemist, Fritz Haber, the father of chemical warfare, the man whose discovery feeds almost half the world today, and in WWI allowed Germany to continue fighting beyond the end of 1914. We will look at his times, his life and his science and the moral responsibility scientists should bear for their discoveries.

Wed. Nov. 1             Blood, Guts and Biochemistry                   Merle Smith            

This session will be about Merle’s personal experiences in clinical pathology. She discusses the history of local pathology and the changes half a century of practice have brought.

Wed. Nov. 8             The Rock Readers: How Earth’s deep time was discovered                                                                                                                        Jo Crothers

A short history of the lives and ideas of two men whose insights about the age of the earth were revolutionary and revealing, but treated with contempt.

Wed. Nov. 15          Pilbara Rock Art                                                Susan Hartley

Aborigines painstakingly pecked out sacred images on the flint-hard surfaces of the ironstone rocks of the Burrup until European occupation. What is its future now? Where are the challenges?  30 thousand years of Aboriginal Art in the Pilbara WA.

Wed. Nov. 22          Beauty and the Beast                                      David Wookey

We will examine the science behind three diverse chemical elements. One is a precious beautiful noble metal that is highly prized for jewellery and created by one of the most energetic events in the universe. Another is the most reactive of all elements; with applications including protecting teeth, non-stick frying pans and the manufacture of nuclear weapons. The third was the first synthetic element to be created in the laboratory – with its application in nuclear medicine.