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Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

IAS Discussion Group for Research Postgraduate Students

11th February 2010, 17:00, IAS, Cosin's Hall, Palace Green

The Institute of Advanced Study warmly invites research postgraduate students at Durham to a discussion group on ‘Is there such a thing as a Galactic water cycle?’.  This discussion, designed specifically for research postgraduates at Durham, will be led by Ian Wright, Professor of Planetary Science at the Open University and current Fellow at the IAS and St Mary’s College during the Institute’s 2009-10 ‘Water’ theme. 

On suggesting that the discussion centres on the question ‘Is there such a thing as a galactic water cycle?’ Ian is working from the position that as far as he is aware, this has never been considered before (although he would be entirely happy to be corrected).   Therefore, by its very nature, he doesn’t think there are any experts on this subject and so the format will be very open to a wide-range of contributions from a variety of disciplines and should lend itself to a very interesting discussion.

Ian’s interests range from characterising the nature of space debris, to the origin and evolution of planets, to an ultimate question involving life. Over the years he has designed and built a number of novel instruments and he is currently the PI of an instrument known as Ptolemy, which is on its way to land on a comet's surface (on board the Philae Lander of the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission).  More recently he has been working as part of a team who are aiming to utilise the experience of building miniaturised analytical instrumentation for space exploration, in the area of health care for humans (specifically, the early detection of tuberculosis, a project that is being funded by the Wellcome Trust).

The discussion will take place on Thursday, 11th February, at 5.00pm in the seminar room at the Institute of Advanced Study (Cosin’s Hall, Palace Green).   Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided for the discussion at the IAS, and for those who wish to there is an opportunity for the discussion to continue over drinks in a local pub.

If you wish to attend, please register with Ms Judith Aird, by no later than 5pm on Wednesday 10 February 2010: judith.aird@durham.ac.uk

Contact enquiries.ias@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.