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Public Lectures

Forensic Science

This informative and entertaining lecture has been given a number of times at various locations in South Wales. Dr Mark Elliott explains the science behind DNA profiling, in an accessible and non-technical way, in a presentation which includes examples from recent and historical crimes and a demonstration of the extraction of DNA. Contact: Dr Mark Elliott, email:

What Do Chemists Do, and Aren't All Chemicals Bad For You?

Dr Mark Elliott explains what chemists do in industry (including the pharmaceutical industry and forensic science) and challenges the commonly held perception that chemicals are bad for us. This presentation covers a range of topics and addresses questions such as 'what is a chemical and what is natural?' and 'what is the environmental impact of chemical processes?' Contact: Dr Mark Elliott, email:

Teaching and Learning Science

This lecture has two main topics: how does scientific thinking differ from other kinds intellectual activities of humanity, such as art and religion, and why is it valuable for even non-science students to be exposed to its modus operandi? Contact Professor Barry Carpenter, email:

Nanotechnology - is it new ?

This lecture will explore the origins of nanotechnology, discussing the role of commonly used nano-materials in cave painting, food and other domestic products as well as more esoteric potential applications such as nano-bots. Please contact Drs Peter Griffiths or Alison Paul for further information.

What Drives a Catalytic Converter?

Stan Golunski describes how legislation forced the introduction of technology for automotive emission control, which led to the development of the three-way catalytic converter. However, with the requirement for higher fuel economy and lower carbon emissions, a whole new set of challenges has emerged.  So, what will replace that great combination of petrol engine and three-way catalyst? Email: 

Shape and Form in the World of Crystals

The lecture will follow a journey through the world of crystals, discussing some issues of scientific and technological importance that depend (often critically) upon understanding the shapes of crystals, understanding the arrangements of atoms and molecules within crystals, and in particular, understanding how scientists nowadays can exert control over these properties. Please contact Professor Kenneth D.M. Harris, Email: