Talks 2021

With the sea running through the programme, we look at the progress of tidal power, and plans to row the Northwest Passage; at sea-cliffs and shore life and whale migration in Arctic waters.

We hear about ways to tackle climate change, through soil regeneration and alternative power for flights and ferries. We hear how people fought Smallpox and Spanish flu, and about new research into genetics and Covid resistance. There is news of work on gravitational waves, and exploring space, and new ideas on the origins of life and the nature of time.

There are insights into Orkney’s past, with talks in memory of four people who did so much for Orkney’s archaeology and history. And further back in time there are stories of the great mammals of the Ice Age: cave bear and mammoth and sabre-tooth tiger.

PREPARING FOR SPACE SETTLEMENTS USING MICROBES

September 3, 2021 → 7:30 pm8:30 pm

Moray’s astronomy club SIGMA host a visit from Prof. Charles Cockell of the University of Edinburgh and welcome you to join them and hear how microbes can help us in space. “On Earth, we use them to make yogurt, drugs and to mine metals,” he says. “As we head out into the stars, microbes will come with us as our allies.” ...

AN ORKNEY DYNASTY: THE SEARCH FOR KOLBEIN HRUGA

September 3, 2021 → 7:30 pm8:15 pm

Remnants of a square tower and ramparts are all that survive of Cubbie Roo’s Castle on Wyre, with the name linked to a legendary giant and to a figure in 12th-century Norse Orkney, Kolbein Hruga. The search for his origins reveals a picture of the wealth and power of Norse Orkney, and insights into Sweyn Asleifsson, and clues to the ancestry of the Flett family of today.

OUT ACROSS THE HARBOUR

September 4, 2021 → 9:45 am10:45 am

Research students from three universities – Heriot-Watt, Robert Gordon, and UHI – share news of the progress of their work, hosted by Dr Mike Bell of Heriot-Watt University’s International Centre for Island Technology in the Stromness campus with its views out across the harbour to Graemsay, Hoy and Scapa Flow. ...

CONFLICT ON THE COAST

September 4, 2021 → 11:30 am12:15 pm

Rising sea levels with coastal flooding and population movements inland, over-exploitation of resources like water and biomass, increasing pollution and sediment discharge … How do we cope? Look for nature-based solutions, says Roger Crofts, see the coast as part of a bigger system and plan holistically ...

TRADERS IN THE NOR’ WAST

September 4, 2021 → 3:30 pm4:15 pm

Formed just over 350 years ago, the Hudson’s Bay Company had a trading monopoly over a vast area of North-West Canada, rich in Arctic furs. Its ships regularly called in to Stromness for supplies and workers, and the resulting income gave a huge boost to Orkney’s ...

THE CURES OF HUDSON’S BAY

September 4, 2021 → 5:00 pm5:45 pm

The Atlantic voyage from Stromness, plus the harsh environment, could cause serious health problems, such as scurvy, for Hudson’s Bay Company workers. They had doctors and apothecary chests but, as Dr Winona Wheeler of the University of Saskatchewan ...

THE PRINCE OF EVOLUTION

September 4, 2021 → 8:00 pm8:45 pm

A radical theory of evolution comes from a remarkable man who died a century ago. Mutual aid, said Peter Kropotkin, not competition, was the key to survival. His ideas took shape in years of studying animal behaviour in Siberia’s -40ºC winters ,...

ISLAND JOURNEYS AND THE MOUNTAINS’ CALL

September 4, 2021 → 9:30 pm10:15 pm

It’s 100 years since a Scotswoman with a love of Orkney went to teach English in the then recently established University of Ljubljana in modern Slovenia. She was Fanny Copeland, daughter of Scotland’s 3rd Astronomer Royal. Her visits to Orkney ...

SET FAIR FOR SWONA

September 5, 2021 → 10:00 am10:45 am

An opportunity to find out more about Swona, its seals and shipwrecks, as Katy Firth of Stromness Museum introduces an exhibition of 360 degree photospheres of the island, with the help of some of the people close to its wildlife and history.

THE POWER OF THE WIND AND THE SCIENCE OF SAILING SHIPS

September 5, 2021 → 11:30 am12:15 pm

Schooners, brigantines and barques, and the clippers which could reach speeds of over 17 knots – the tall ships sailed the world’s oceans, carrying cargoes from one continent to another, the fastest of them sometimes covering several hundred miles in a day.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!