Academics line up for Bath Festival of Nature: Wed 24 Jun

Scientists from the University will be talking straw homes, the subconscious and venoms in a special fringe event during the week of the Bath Festival of Nature.

Hosted on Wednesday 24 June, this free ‘Fringe Talks’ event will see experts in eminent engineering, psychology and pharmacology, present their cutting-edge research with a twist, in a relaxed, informal environment at Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institute.

The first presentation ‘you don’t even know why you did that’, will come from environmental behaviour expert, Dr Ian Walker, Senior Lecturer in Psychology.

The idea that our actions might happen for reasons we don’t understand is getting vast attention in modern psychology and this talk will investigate unconscious influences – demonstrating how they impact and help people make everyday decisions.

‘Taking the huff and puff out of building’ will be delivered by Professor Pete Walker, Director of the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials.

Pete will talk about how his straw research is helping to create affordable low carbon and energy efficient buildings (including the first straw bale homes in Bristol) – something which has made international headlines.

Professor Roland Jones, Head of Pharmacology and Professor in Neuropharmacology, will finish the evening by looking at what venoms and toxins from animals and insects can tell us about the brain.

His seminar ‘Molecules of death’ will look at how pharmacologists are using venoms as tools to understand how neurones function and communicate and how they can be used in experimental research into neuronal function and the formation of memories in brain circuits.

The event runs from 7pm until 8.30pm.

All are welcome, but advance booking is recommended. In order to reserve a ticket please visit:

Other Bath academics involved in the Festival include Matt Camilleri, who will present a Science Pub Quiz at 7pm on Thursday 25 June at The West Gate Pub, as well as students and academics who will be presenting their research at the main Festival of Nature event at Royal Victoria Park on Saturday 27 June.

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