Third Wednesday of the month, starting at 10:00 am.
Please see below …
21st April 2021 - Phil Judkins
Science, Theft and Treachery
The stories of the Bruneval Raid to capture Hitler's radar, and of the parallel story
of spies and agents on the Russian Front.
During the 20th century, scientific advances applied to military use could win or
lose wars, and so were the subject both of espionage and of direct assault. Dr Phil
Judkins scrutinises two classic examples, one of assault and theft, one of treachery.
During the Second World War, Britain at first thought that it alone had the secret
of radar, until increasing evidence showed that Germany had equipment equally as
advanced – if not better! The Bruneval Raid, subject of a recent book by local author
Damien Lewis, was mounted to steal a German radar – but how did reality match the
On the Eastern Front, Russia and Germany were locked in a titanic struggle whose
scale dwarfs conflict in Western Europe – but what is the almost unknown story of
German spying on Russia, and of the German spy codenamed ‘Klatt’, Germany’s primary
source of information on Russia. Why was he of such interest to the British at Bletchley
Park? Was Klatt in fact a Russian double agent? A true story to match the fiction
of John le Carré, with a stomach-wrenching final twist!
17th March 2021 - Lindsay Dixon
Orthopaedic Implant Design
Over three million joint replacement operations are performed in the United Kingdom
each year using state-of-the-art treatment for relieving intense pain and restoring
mobility to people with arthritis.
In this meeting Lindsay Dixon will describe the design challenges of joint replacements
and will explain the mechanical engineering, biological science, and materials technology
that combine to bring pain relief and better quality of life to so many people.
Dr Lindsay Dixon is a Senior Technical Specialist at the British Standards Institution
and is an expert in the design of medical implants. She works in the regulatory approval
of orthopaedic and dental devices.
19th May 2021 - Will Bond
In the early decades of the growth of nature conservation NGOs understandably focussed
on acquiring important reserves before they were lost to agricultural improvement
or development. As time went by, the importance of management made itself apparent,
some of which was seriously in arrears.
Will Bond and his team became experts in the sphere of what might be termed ‘makeovers’
of nature reserves to bring them back up to scratch, using big construction, quarrying
and agricultural equipment to deliver large scale results within constrained timescales
- while avoiding damage to the plants, animals and birds for which these areas are
The talk will use examples to illustrate some of the conflicts and compromises necessary
to preserve the best of our wildlife sites.
Will Bond is an ecological contractor based at Wareham in Dorset. His company Alaska
Ecological Contracting is a known innovator and leader of best practise in the use
of modern equipment applied to ecological management and restoration. He is a previous
recipient of the Society for Ecological Restoration’s John Rieger Award, and the
Chartered Institute of Ecological and Environmental Management’s Outstanding Professional
Award. He denies being professional, just enthusiastic!
17th February 2021 - Gordon MacPhearson
Immunology & Immunity – the Good, the Bad and the Unknown
Our immune systems are essential for defence against infection, but not always effective
(malaria, tuberculosis, HIV for example). These systems are largely ineffective against
cancer, but can cause a large variety of different diseases - hypersensitivities
such as hay fever and food allergies, and autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis
and Type I (insulin-dependent) diabetes.
Currently, in times of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, Gordon will explore how
our immune systems can be expected to cope – with help from the vaccines being developed.
In his talk Gordon will discuss all these different aspects of immunity – what we
do and do not know about them. He will discuss his own research, largely involving
how immune responses in the intestine are started and regulated.