Will things ever get back to what they were before Covid? “I don’t think they will,” says epidemiologist Prof. Mark Woolhouse of Edinburgh University, “but that may not be all bad news. We have to do better next time, so let’s start thinking about future pandemics, the challenges they may present and how we should prepare.”
An opportunity to hear more from Daniel Kenning over tea/coffee/biscuits about further aspects of the concept of Transition Engineering and the new approaches it opens up to solve challenges globally and locally. Today he describes the crash test – how to look at the consequences of staying on a path that’s unsustainable.
The mRNA vaccine success for covid-19 highlights the potential for tackling other viruses such as Epstein-Barr. But it's not currently clear why some people are more likely to get infected than others. Postgraduate researcher Marisa Muckian is working in an Edinburgh University group aiming to use DNA to find out.
Each of us differs from everyone else by about four million letters in the DNA code. But which are important for our risk of disease and which should we be told about? Which are common in Orkney? Prof Jim Flett Wilson of the University of Edinburgh investigates using information from the ORCADES and Viking Genes studies.
To reduce fossil fuel use, each community needs to find its own solutions. One of Heriot-Watt University's Transition Labs is stimulating ideas to reduce children's transport to school. The process includes a community jury called a Ting, to assess the evidence and decide whether to go ahead. You can hear them in action today.
Join Orkney wildlife guide Megan Taylor for a circular walk around the RSPB reserve at Brodgar. As the path meanders through the grasslands, we will look for birds, mammals, insects and any remaining wildflowers. We will look for ducks and swans along the shore of the Stenness Loch, then veer inland via the Ring of Brodgar.
The hall’s just off Palace Road, and ideal for a break to enjoy tea or coffee and fresh local produce, and to meet up with friends or catch up on the day’s events. There’s a 10-minute story as well at around 3.30 pm. Today it’s a family story of discovery, with Neil Price telling about the mason, the tsar, and the dry docks of Sevastopol.
The technology of the fax machine was invented and patented in 1843 by a crofter’s son from Watten in Caithness who had left school when he was 12. Alexander Bain was a clockmaker’s apprentice in Wick when he was inspired by a scientific lecture in Thurso on electricity – as John Mellis, author of Scotland’s Science, describes.
It’s 100 years since public service broadcasting got under way with the BBC’s transmissions from 2LO in London. Prof. Tom Stevenson tells the story of early radio with its powerful transmitters sending signals for reception on crystal sets with cat’s whiskers and early thermionic valve wireless sets, and shows some of them in action.
Are current global crises taking us into the territory where science fiction turns into reality? Back in the 1990s when historians looked to a peacful and prosperous future, Scottish science fiction writer Ken MacLeod was forecasting a much grittier world ahead. What does he think of the present day, and how does he now see the future?
Orkney's story started with hunter-gatherers some 10,000 years ago. This discovery of a long-lost past is due in particular to Caroline-Wickham Jones. Prof. Richard Bates and Prof. Martin Bates from the Rising Tides project team describe her work, including investigations in the Bay of Firth and the Stenness and Harray Lochs.