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GREEN CHEMISTRY

Phoenix Cinema, Pickaquoy, Kirkwall

Green chemistry seeks ways to transform waste or renewable natural materials, and make safe chemicals and recyclable products. Prof. James Clark of the University of York’s Green Chemistry Centre describes examples that include cleaning products from sawdust and food wastes, fuels from waste cooking oils, medical devices from seaweed, and clothes from pineapple leaves.

£4 – £6

THE MONSOON AND THE PLANET

Phoenix Cinema, Pickaquoy, Kirkwall

By using the chemistry of marine plankton and combining it with climate models, a team of researchers from The Open University have assessed drivers of monsoon rainfall, changes in the tropical rainfall pattern during past warm intervals, and the role of South Asian monsoon rainfall in past global climate.

£4 – £6

CHANGING LIVES WITH SOLAR POWER

Phoenix Cinema, Pickaquoy, Kirkwall

650 million people worldwide have no access to electricity. But solar power opens the way for communities to set up their own local energy systems, grid-connected or off-grid. Prof. Stuart Galloway describes how Strathclyde University’s SG Global Renewables Centre provides the knowledge they need.

£4 – £6

TO BUILD IN ORKNEY’S EARTH AND STONE

Phoenix Cinema, Pickaquoy, Kirkwall

Earth has been used as building material in Orkney since the Neolithic.  Architect Tom Morton and mudmason/artist Rebecca Little have been studying its use in Orkney’s ancient buildings for Historic Environment Scotland, and they’ve identified a range of skilled techniques. Earth can bind stones for walls, and clay was used to seal roof slates at the Ness of Brodgar. Recent studies have highlighted its use as decorative plaster. And as they explain, in today's climate situation, local materials like earth and straw could have a role again.

£4 – £6

GOLD IN THE STARS

Orkney Theatre, KGS, Kirkwall

How was gold formed? University of Glasgow astrophysicist and ‘black hole hunter’ Prof. Martin Hendry goes on a journey through space and time to seek an answer, and explores how the detection of spacetime ripples from colliding neutron stars has brought exciting new insights into the cosmic origins of precious metals.

£4 – £6

NEW SHELTER FOR FISH

The Orkney Club, Harbour Street, Kirkwall

Masanobu Shibuya is one of the pioneers of engineering diving in Japan with nearly 50 years of experience, from large-scale offshore development projects to disaster recovery work. An increasing concern for the ocean environment has led him to work with marine renewables companies to create rich seaweed forests and other ecohabitats to benefit sea life and fisheries.

£8

MEADOWS BENEATH THE WAVES

Orkney Theatre, KGS, Kirkwall

Seagrasses provide a vital habitat for marine life, increasing biodiversity, and locking carbon into the sediment. Orkney’s pristine meadows are particularly important and the subject of research through the Sjøgrass Project, funded by Highland Park. Prof. Joanne Porter of Heriot-Watt University joins Dr Esther Thomsen and Katy Waring of Project Seagrass to describe their work.

£4 – £6

GORENJSKA’S LAKES AND MOUNTAINS

The Orkney Club, Harbour Street, Kirkwall

It’s a land of sunny alpine pastures and rocky ravines, traditional villages, mountains like the triple-peaked Triglav and lakes like Bled with its island and the glacially-formed Bohinj. Dr Edvard Kobal takes you on a tour of the Slovenian region of Gorenjska and describes its landscape and soil, and the wine and food that its people enjoy.

£8

SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD

Orkney Theatre, KGS, Kirkwall

The interface between the modern seafood industry and the environmental movement is becoming increasingly fraught and angry. Why has this happened? Shetlander John Goodlad is writing a new book on the subject. He shares his thoughts on what lies behind this conflict and addresses the key question as to how sustainable seafood is.

£4 – £6
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