Science & Technology

Co-ordinator Derek and Dorothy Morgan Science&Technology
Telephone   01280 813 033
Weekday 1st Wednesday
Time 2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m.
Venue RLS Discovery Centre, Brookfield Lane,
Attendees will need to sign in at the main reception
before coming over to the meeting.
They must be accompanied.
Either a member of staff or a sixth-former will be available.

About the group

This group is aimed at members with a general interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine (past, present, and future developments).

The main criterion for membership is an enquiring mind and a readiness to learn something new through interaction with others in the group; the usual format is to hold an informal meeting with speakers on relevant topics. We arrange visits from time to time, usually during school holidays when we would not normally meet.

Meeting Dates

As follows – all on first Wednesday of the Month:

6th February 2019 – Dr. Harin Sellahewa, Buckingham University  – Artificial Intelligence and the 4th Industrial Revolution

Harin attended our U3a Science and Technology group in Buckingham to give his presentation on this topic, and it proved to be a fascinating and thought provoking overview of the situation in AI (artificial intelligence) developments as against what might happen in the future. Here is a link to the School of Computing Twitter feed on the event:

Harin’s profile can be viewed here:

Dr Harin Sellahewa

Examples of comments from the U3a audience are as follows:

“A thought-provoking exposition. Is it worrying that the database for much A.I. (and the programming) is provided by humans?”
“Excellent presentation of a complex subject most enjoyable and more importantly understandable. Let’s hope someone is thinking about the 5 billion or so people who will have nothing to do in the future”
“It was absolutely fascinating as well as highly informative, entertaining and deeply thought provoking. A very enjoyable afternoon.”
“Harin’s talk gave a very clear definition of AI as defined by Turing and then how currently aspects of AI are being employed in our everyday life and how it may be used in the future, without getting too technical.”
“I’ve attended this talk before as part of the Lillingstone lectures and it was still fascinating and informative a second time.”
“A frightening view of the world to come (soon?)“

6th March – Fred Randle on Fibreoptics
3rd April (comes just before Easter holidays) – Derek Morgan on Grinding ( of metals etc – in case anyone is confused)
1st May – David Elliott ‘Renewable energy in cities – how much can they deliver?’
5th June – Jo Taylor on Diet & Nutrition
3rd July  – John Rayment on How Aeroplanes Fly
August – No meeting – School Holidays
September – No meeting –  School Holidays
2nd October – Fred Randle on Quantum Theory
6th November – Derek Morgan Machining complex shapes & difficult materials
4th December TBA

5th February 2020 Jenny Mainwaring Earth’s Magnetic Fields

Note: Speakers needed!  If you are reading this and feel able to offer a talk on a Science & Technnology related  topic or know someone who could help, please do get in touch with us.

Further details available from Derek and Dorothy Morgan by email:

Related Resources:

The RLS Discovery Centre has a series of Community Lectures being held on Wednesday evenings as detailed at this link:

We recently visited the John Lewis Automation centre in Milton Keynes; here is a video showing the process: Knapp – Automation at John Lewis

National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park; website is hereyou can book a public guided tour online.

You can see a video of Colossus on the Codes & Ciphers site, along with other interesting items about exhibits including the Robot “George”.

We would also like to recommend a book called “The Innovators” by Walter Isaacson, which is subtitled “How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution”. It traces the development of computing from Ada Lovelace way back in the 1840’s right up to the last few years. Could be obtained from Amazon UK, or from other retail outlets including eBay.

The Creative Science Centre – Dr. Jonathan Hare’s Website

The NASA Website is interesting

The American Museum of Natural history

Bucks Earth Heritage Group can be found at

Ozone and other atmospheric chemistry:

Some associated links to investigate

Balancing Green Power; how to deal with variable energy sources (David Elliott ex OU professor of energy/technology policy – author of ‘Balancing Green Power; how to deal with variable energy sources’)

Some related links to investigate

David Elliot’s Web Page

EU: The European Climate Foundation
European Renewable Energy Council
Global: Stanford University- Prof. Mark Jacobson


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