Melissa Spielman

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Press Release - 02 October 2007

Science Café: Fifty years since Sputnik

The world’s first artificial satellite and the adventures of the Space Age will be discussed at the next Bath Science Café, which takes place in The Raven pub in Queen’s Street next week (7.30pm, Monday 8 October 2007).

Award-winning space historian, Piers Bizony, will present an illustrated account of the Space Age, from the first tiny satellites to America's colossal project to land men on the moon.

“In October 1957 a metallic sphere the size of a basketball, called ‘Sputnik’, bleeped its way into orbit,” said Mr Bizony. “From this modest beginning, an epic new adventure was born.

“I will also explore some surprising and less well-known aspects of the space adventure: its cultural and emotional impacts, its effect on the people who flew into space, and the disturbing parallels between the paranoias of the early rocket age and today's weapons of mass destruction.”

Piers Bizony has written about space and cosmology for a wide variety of magazines in the UK and the US. He has written an award-winning book on the making of Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and his critically acclaimed analysis of the life-on-Mars debate, The Rivers of Mars, was nominated for the Nasa/Eugene M Emme Award for Astronautical Writing.

He has also worked on the successful £25 million Millennium Fund bid for the @Bristol multimedia complex, and was creative consultant for the Cosmic Voyage planetarium at the Futuroscope educational park in Poitiers.

His recent book, Space 50, is a pictorial journey of the human moments of space travel with previously unseen images from NASA and Russian archives.

The Science Café is an ongoing series of monthly events where some of the country’s leading scientists will talk informally about their research over a pint.

The event will be held in The Raven pub in Queen Street in the centre of town. No tickets or reservations are required - just turn up at 7.30pm for an 8.00pm start.

Organisers will ask for a small voluntary donation to cover travel costs for the speakers. Other Bath Science Café events already planned include:

To register for e-mail alerts about forthcoming Science Café events, contact Melissa Spielman at

The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities, with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. View a full list of the University's press releases: