Tuesday 15 May 2018 Bob Stansbridge , Soton Uni: Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS); what they are, what they do and why they are jolly useful.
venue: St Denys Community Centre, Main Hall, SO17 2JZ
Latest update of this file 22 April, 2018
Note the change of venue, change of dates to third tuesday of the month and change of times, from the previous venue.
Corner of Priory Rd and Adelaide Rd opposite the Junction Inn (strict policy of no drinks to be brought over from the pub to the community centre), level access with no steps. 200 metres from the Adelaide Rd side of St Denys railway station. Previous use of this hall finishes at about 20:00 with 15 minutes grace, so the anticipated start to the science cafe talks would be no earlier than 20:10. Thefore no point in arriving here before 20:00 , but the foyer would be open , so no waiting in rain. Because of the hire cost for this hall there is a charge for entry to these talks, please place 2 pounds in the collecting jar near the entry door to the room.
With this room-hire structure there is no commercial element in requiring a break, unlike cafes and pubs, so Q&A will follow immediately after the talk and the end of the full session should not be much later than the previous structure. The hire period is to 22:15 so if Q&A does continue longer than usual, then no problem, there will be no guillotine to Q&A.
Monthly talks on a science subject
Future talks, usually the third Tuesday of the month.
Tuesday 19 June 2018 TBC ,
Tuesday 17 July 2018 TBC ,
Tuesday 21 August 2018 TBC ,
Hopefully one of those dates will be the miller of Eling Tide Mill, fully reopened again in April 2018 and with a new board walk around Bartley Water, well
worth ambling along. His talk will be on technical matters relating to tide mill mechanics and the flour milling process.
Some details on recent SWA science cafe talks , including transcripts of talks and Q&A
Google keyword scicafsoton should get there.
Email me if you could
give a talk or wish to be
included on the email circulation list, or links to one-off local public scientific talks, local open days,
academic post climate-gate "outreach" , public engagement etc. Email addresses only, names not necessary.
That list only to be used for circulating a week
before and day before of any meeting, and no other purpose .
Scientifique most recent update will appear on the 4mg hosting site. Unfortunately excessive ads etc
on that 4mg Freeservers freesite and due to too many people accessing the site and so exceeding 1GByte bandwidth allowance per month, it may disappear for a while, returning about midday UK time on the 25th of the month. Some hosts are not alowing remote linking now , so to view a "forbidden" picture you have to right click on the mouse
and select "view". Southampton Cafe Scientific routinely updated only twice monthly , but without ads .
A simple colour poster for anyone willing to print-off , minus updated text overlay , for these talks available here. Southampton Science Cafe Poster
I'm aware that part of the concept of a Southampton Sci Caf was that
it had to be off university campus, as deemed to deter ordinary mortals.
The original Soton Science Caf Soton Sci Caf ,
(now ceased , held at Harbour Lights, then Borders Bookshop, then the Soul Cellar), then the Southwestern Arms, St Denys .
Up to 19 May, 2018 , the times of return and incoming suitable trains from/to St Denys Railway Station on a weekday , in the 4 main directions : -
To Bournemouth 21:30 from St Denys via change at Southampton Central 21:42 (outgoing from Bournemouth 18.45 for 19.13 change at Southampton Central 19:35 to St Denys at 19:40, 10 minutes late though)
Romsey 21.30 (outgoing from Romsey 19.07 for 19.30 at St Denys )
Portsmouth, 21.49 or 22:49 (suitable outgoing from Portsmouth central 18.38 for 19.31 St Denys)
Winchester ,21:40 change at Airport (suitable outgoing from Winchester 19.05 for 19.26 at St Denys)
I have read Guide to running a Sci Caf
and I endorse all the info there. I would say that maybe the questions
and answers are more important than the talk, allowing non
technical people or scientists out of their field to ask questions .
Often the Q&A are longer duration than the talk. And unlike the academic environment there
is not the peer pressure making people reluctant to ask questions that they feel may be perceived
as being stupid by their peers, and normally no rigid time constraint.
Unlike cafes and public halls which are usually available or hired for a specific time slot, pubs would still be open after any talk and discussion can contiue if there is the interest.
July 2010 was the first scicaf at the SWA and 05 July 2010 the national organiser of the Cafe Scientifique movement added
this link from the Sci Caf national site
to this site.
I've been to the Salisbury Sci Caf and talked to one of their
organisers. On that night I counted 120 people , a low turnout,
as it transpired. A large
arts centre converted church, requiring a wireless mike
to ask questions and full public address for the speakers.
From her , one paramount requirement , is an email circulation list.
Summer 2010 Salisbury Sci Caf has
been priced out of hiring the arts centre any more, quintupling of the fees. The fee for the Salisbury Rugby Club
hall, Hudson's Field, Castle St , Salisbury, is 100 GBP (as would not be open otherwise, unlike pubs or some cafes)
Salisbury Sci Caf , tuesdays Portsmouth Sci Caf , tuesdays Isle of Wight Sci Caf , mondays Winchester Sci Caf, mondays Bournemouth Sci Caf, tuesdays
Input to my video projector , 15 pin Computer SVGA
is the usual cross-link, as long as this type of connector on the laptop
, no USB port.
An Apple laptop would need an adaptor to SVGA for an external monitor feed, at least three types of these with different plugs, let alone anything else.
Or a feed via "USB" style of HDMI connector.
If no 15 pin VGA external monitor output, then I do have a USB to VGA adaptor but requires a driver
put on the laptop and may have problems showing videos.
Important note if using my laptop
then your powerpoint must be a .ppt file, not .pptx. I prefer the speaker to use their own laptop providing there
is 15 pin SVGA socket on the back or "USB" style HDMI. Then you know any video will play and sometimes a query emerges that there
is precise info/graphs etc elsewhere on their pc. A tip for other
organisers using projectors and limited area of placement. Usually there
is a rear projection option in the menu settings, use a mirror to reflect the
image back over the projector, unfortunately needs to be at least A4
size to clear the top of the projector. Mount on a gooseneck for
playing around with angles and a couple of large adjustment screws either side
to anchor down a bit better.
To activate external monitor - right-click somewhere on the desktop and select properties or screen resolution.
On laptop to projector hook-up if one side
of the image is missing but projection of the laptop desktop is full
width, select "mirroring" in the Powerpoint settings/options area.
If "external monitor"/duplicate fails to output video output to a projector, some laptops need a mains power supply connected maybe due to low internal battery energy. For Dell pc toggle between internal and external using Blue Fn + CRT/LCD. The 3 or 4 options
are toggled through, requiring 5 seconds or so between options
and about 10 seconds to activate. Dell options are internal only, external only, both showing same, both showing different images for split screen use. If using Microsoft Powerpoint Viewer and it fails to respond
to Esc and CTRL-F4 , displays on laptop , but fails to
work on the projector as unable to get full screen or even failure to
sync the picture then probably incompatible file type/operating system/created on wrong OS. Not able to project as full screen image,
select Presenter mode and not Normal.
Notebook pc , ie with wide format high res screens, output 4x3 format, low resolution via SVGA despite high resolution powerpoints etc.
Basic laser pointer available or low tech telescopic aerial pointer.
Access to overhead projector and Kodak Ektapro 3000 , carousel slide projector , and
a small public address amplifier , if required. Possibility of video camera to projector setup for
epidiascope fashion or USB macro/microscopic projection. It
would be possible for a DVD based slideshow/ presentation
to be outputed to the video projector via a small DVD player, in theory. I particularly would
like to find a speaker on crop science genetics/biology/ chemistry.
If a speaker has just pics and a small amount of text and can put them on a thumbstick
and/or CDrom and arrange to turn up a 1/2 hour early I could make into an
on-the-fly powerpoint file.
A lot of science cafes cease during academic vacations.
I intend carrying these Southampton ones throughout the year. I would be interested to hear
from anyone attending conferences/visiting in south Hamphire who could arm themself with a
thumbstick or a few notes. Likewise any undergraduates or specialist technicians who
could give a talk of some sort.
Some other possible speaker topics: -
cochlea implants, textiles conservation, engineering aspects of high performance
internal combustion engines (interested but only if/when its got going), 3D graphics and simulators or
Stirling Engines (confirmed interested)
, optoelectronics, exploring a chance of one in 844 septillion, ship handling and accurate positioning in all sea
conditions (confirmed interested) , science and practice of dating ceramics/pottery/bricks for archaeological
purposes (confirmed interested), and techniques of campanology .
Some other SciCaf related sites , recommended panel of speakers
(password required, cursor hovering over "details" column then ident number
greater than 27 is year 2010 entries and later ascending chronologically).
Also the Yahoo group for organisers
Scheduling also requires checking for clashes against televised major sporting events etc via calendars
such as http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/results_and_fixtures/calendar/default.stm ,
Another consideration I came across with someone else's talks organisation or not, as a
speaker failed to turn up. If
a speaker is organised as much as a year before, firstly to agree dates etc and have 2-way
confirmation and acknowlegement of the main matters. Then probably sensible to make some
sort of comunication a week or 2 before the arranged date, to swap phone numbers/ clarify talk details/technical requirements
in case of problems of computer
synchronisation or failures to update paper diaries, to act as a reminder.
Some comments I've received so far
Mention , in links, "skeptics in the pub" (in list below). If a local offshoot developed , he would not have
to go to London. Also consider the concept of webcasting . From my limited
experience Q&A would not work as well as in a live environment and there may be copyright
or even defamation pitfalls.
Consider contacting IBM, Hursely for inclusion in their internal
bulletin. If he gets some more info , I may well do so.
It is good to hear that you are thinking of
starting up another Café Sci. However, if I were you I would avoid
posing it as an alternative to the existing one or a contingency plan
"should the original one fail". I'm sure Southampton is big enough to
have two or more cafes runnning simultaneously; there are already
multiple cafes in Leeds and Bristol, and probably other places too -
since Café Sci needs to be small to work, the only way of responding to
an increased demand is to open a second one - holding one café in a room
big enough for 200 people would just destroy the atmosphere. We at
Brighton are constantly full to overflowing, and are looking to find a
slightly bigger venue, but the ideal solution would be for someone (not
me!) to start a second one.
So I wish you luck. I have been to a few of the Southampton Cafes and
have found it a little frustrating that the oganisation seems so
intermittent. I always book our speakers up many months in advance - in
fact to get the best ones, you have to - and find it hard to understand
how a café can function on such a "last-minute" basis. I also think a
pub function room would be better than the Soul Cellar - on one occasion
when I was there the speaker had to give up because of the excessive
noise coming from the sound system downstairs, even though there were
hardly any customers in the bar, but about 30 of us upstairs!
Whay don't you try and contact the existing organiser and try and work
with him/her? (I forget who it is currently). I am sure he/she will
welcome a new venture like yours and it will stop any "bad blood"
situation from developing.
Anyway, good luck again. Keep me on the list - I do not get over there
much but will try.
Reply - I'd only seen one sci cafe represented, per town /city, on the national sci caf site
, and only looked in detail at the local group and not realised that some were subdivided,
so more than one in a town. As for the Soul Cellar I found the noisey
patrons hanging around in the foyer more intrusive. I note your use of the word speaker and perhaps I will
start using it instead of lecturer as it may be off-putting. Is
there a suitable low-key word for lecture, as well ?
He uses the term "lead-off" for this concept of short introductory talk before
a longer discussion on that topic. So perhaps the term lead-off talk is preferable to the
I wish you every success in setting up Southampton Science Cafe ( Shadow )
We may add you meetings to HASSNERS Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/HASSNERS/
when you get up and running.
I would be keen to be involved and would be willing to talk. I am
currently a lecturer in Electronics and Computer Science at Southampton
University but am conceited enough to want to talk on subjects on which I
am not an expert.
I really appreciate the work that you're doing to set up science cafe II.
I get the feeling that the organisers are running out of steam ...
If you ever need a hand with any event I'd be only to happy to oblige.
It would be nice to have the talks in quieter place, like The South Western Arms,
which is a good choice.
That soul Cellar is too noisy at 8pm. I did suggest to the organisers that the
Central Art Gallery has a lecture Theatre nearby or even the fountain cafe, well
At least it doesn't have massive bass bins next door.
I actually was looking for information about historical flooding in Southampton
and saw you had done a lot of work on flooding in St Denys ...
Your talk on leaded vs lead-free solder was interesting and I think the SW Arms is
a good venue for a small audience
I enjoyed the talk by Ian Bryant and would like to go on your mailing list please.
From a Soton Sci Caf speaker
A magnificent job in typing the transcript. Fascinating/terrifying to hear how I ramble on.
I'm sure my teaching has improved from giving the talk.
Thanks for having me.
I very much enjoyed Dr Deborah Mackay's talk on epigenetics last month.
If possible could you send me the URL on the comparitive sizes of viruses,
molecules etc. she showed in her presentation?
Best comment so far, overheard from 3 bods in front of one of my posters
One bod , (before I started adding a QR), taking a cell-phone pic of the poster
and another one saying to the others.
"Well I may as well come along to it (the scicaf talk) as it must be better than staying at home and
watching Coronation Street ".
I went to the talk last evening at the Southwestern Arms ... (Dr David Hooper, atmospheric refraction) ...
I thoroughly enjoyed the talk myself
What an interesting speaker (Phil Bartlett, nano-scale structured metal surfaces and SERS) and such a
fascinating topic, he seemed to relish
the barrage of questions. I see you have an intriguing set of topics coming up in the future, and
a convivial environment for such talks .
Fantastic choice of subjects Thanks
Could I be added to the Cafe Scientifique email circulation list?
I attend the (local) group meetings but the subjects are not usually as appealing as the Southampton ones.
... the chance to ask embarrassing questions and drink seems attractive...
Just to say thank you for running the sci cafe talks for the past eight years.
There were many varied and interesting talks you arranged and I enjoyed them all.
The venue did get too noisy at times in the later years, but at least it was free.
The asking question session was always a plus point of the sci cafe which is an
experience you just can't get with on-line media delivery.
J and I have been coming from Newbury for the last year and we would like to say a big thankyou for all of your efforts. It was a great location, great speakers and so very informative.
Enormous respect for what you continue to do with SciCaf, but would you mind taking me off the mailing list when you get a minute please? I've recently left Southampton for Turkey.
page was on http://home.graffiti.net/syxygy:graffiti.net/scicaf.htm
until that hosting company shut up shop. And on http://www.divdev.fsnet.co.uk/scicaf.htm up to October 2014, when they restricted FTP access to Orange/EE users only and fully expired August 2016.
Contact name: Nigel Cook
Number of valid email addresses in the circulation list as of the
above edition date : 234
A reserve email account is scicafsoton(commercial at)gmail.com
Please make emails plain text only , no more than 5KByte or 500 words.
Anyone sending larger texts or attachments such as digital signatures, pictures etc will have
them automatically deleted on the server. I will be totally unaware of this, all your email will be deleted - sorry, again
blame the spammers.