Bath Science Café: All things bright and beautiful

The next Science Café on Monday 13 May will explore the science of colour in biology, and a major international research effort to reveal the extent of ingenuity and engineering expertise with which nature has been controlling the flow of colour for millions of years.

The talk will be presented by Professor Peter Vukusic from the Department of Physics at Exeter University. Vukusic is a Professor of BioPhotonics and his research comprises the discovery, characterisation and biomimetic application of photonic systems that have evolved naturally in animals and plants.

Professor Vukusic will be presenting the next Bath Science Cafe.

Professor Vukusic will be presenting the next Bath Science Cafe.

The brightest creatures are usually the most eye-catching. For centuries, a spectrum of observers, from young children to experienced scientists have wondered at the origin of brilliant colours and patterns in certain animals and plants.

The conclusions of a major international study into the subject are forming a remarkable series of lessons in how best to learn and apply light and colour manipulation techniques.

Professor Vukusic said: “In biological terms, we find that it is naturally-evolved nano-scale regular structure that generates the most eye-catching optical functions in the living world.

“These biological systems are increasingly offering inspiration and designs for our applied photonic technologies.”

This science cafe lecture will present an overview of this emerging field of study, as well as several of the exciting recent discoveries that reflect nature’s optical design ingenuity, and the technological applications to which they are currently being applied.

Professor Vukusic has been frequently featured on scientific programs of the BBC and National Geographic, so this promises to be an extremely engaging discussion.

Bath Science Cafe is a free event that takes place at The Raven in the centre of Bath at 7:30pm. For more information please visit

The official Twitter hashtag is #BathSciCafe.


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