What we're about

Science and art both rely on observation and synthesis: taking what is seen and creating something new from it. Our society could hardly exist without either, but when they come together our culture is enriched, sometimes in unexpected ways....

Upcoming events (3)

The Beauty of Chemistry

Needs a location

Register for a ticket here. https://www.soci.org/Members/Sign%20In?event={A1618FA7-84BF-49E6-BC[masked]F714B66D}

Scientists often talk informally of “beauty” in ideas, experiments and theories - but what do they mean by it?

"My recent book with Chinese science photographers Yan Liang and Wenting Zhu offered one answer. Titled “The Beauty of Chemistry”, it presented astonishing photos of chemical processes, many based on the videos Yan and Wenting have made for their “Envisioning Chemistry” project, which has received international acclaim.

I argue that chemistry excels in its sensual allure: its colours, textures, patterns, even smells, speak immediately to the senses and are often what draw chemists to study their subject. All the same, I argue, scientific notions of beauty are complicated and not always compatible with the way the word is used in art and aesthetics."

Philip Ball is a writer and author, who previously worked for many years as an editor for Nature. He has written many books on science and its intersections with the wider culture, including The Self-Made Tapestry, Critical Mass, Bright Earth and Invisible. His latest book is The Modern Myths.

  • 18.00 Registration and refreshments
  • 18.30 Welcome and introduction
  • 18.40 Agrifood science in a time of climate change Professor Graham Moore, John Innes Centre
  • 19.25 Q&A
  • 19.45 Networking reception
  • 20.15 Close

ATTENDEES
To enable us to control the number of visitors into the building, we are asking all delegates to pre-register in advance. For this reason, registration will close 24 hours prior

2
Palm oil and our future world

Needs a location

Palm oil (and its fractions) is simultaneously one of the world’s most popular and unpopular agricultural crops. Popular, as it is an ingredient in countless food and personal care products, due to its versatility and low cost. It is also used increasingly as a source of biofuel. Unpopular, as the huge growth in the use of palm oil combined with the need for hot and wet growing conditions has resulted in oil palm plantations displacing millions of hectares of tropical rainforest, with an environmental cost in terms of loss of habitats and biodiversity, and release of CO2. Various initiatives have been devised to mitigate this including from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, the recent pledges to reduce deforestation at COP26, and the substitution of palm oil by other oils. However, how effective are these initiatives, to what extent is substitution feasible, and how sustainable are the alternatives compared to palm oil?
Dr Eddy Esselink is uniquely placed to provide a detailed insight into the various issues and questions surrounding the sustainability of palm oil. This evening lecture is being held in memorium of Kurt Berger, former Chair of the SCI Oils and Fats (now Lipids) Group, who worked on the processing of palm oil over many decades.

Dr Eddy Esselink gained his first degree and then PhD in Chemistry from the University of Groningen before going on to Work for Unilever R&D for over 14 years. The latter parts of his time there was spent in the Group Supply Chain with a specific focus on sustainable oils.
Eddy is currently working as Senior Manager for Sustainable Development at MVO – the umbrella organisation for the Netherlands Oils and Fats Industry. Important themes are: sustainable sourcing of oils and fats, Chain of Custody requirements, energy-efficiency improvement, lowering ecological footprint, protein sourcing and the bio based economy. Eddy ran a multi-year programme [masked]) with IDH (The Sustainable Trade Initiative), focussing on a 100% sustainable European palm oil supply chain. These activities are combined with chairing the RSPO Trade & Traceability Standing Committee. Eddy also chairs the Dutch Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil. Over the last few years, this task force has been successful in bringing sustainable palm oil to the Dutch and wider European market.

  • 18:00 Registration and refreshments
  • 18:30 Welcome and introduction
  • 18:40 Palm oil and our future world Dr Eddy Esselink, Sustainable Development at MVO
  • 19:25 Q&A
  • 19:45 Networking reception
  • 20:15 Close

For this reason, registration will close 24 hours prior to the event and only registered guests will be admitted.

The 21st Century mind: Blowing it, expanding it, losing it

Needs a location

Register for a ticket here https://www.soci.org/Members/Sign%20In?event={F[masked]D36-46E6-B[masked]F}

In the UK, 850,000 people suffer from dementia, with the number set to rise to 2 million by 2051. Dementia currently costs over £600 million a year worldwide. New technology may lead to unprecedented changes in brain development.

Alzheimer’s disease treatment in the 21st Century
The human brain’s ability to adapt to the environment is far above any other species, allowing itself to personalise through neuronal connections to create a unique mind.
During her Public Evening Lecture, Baroness Greenfield will discuss how the introduction of 21st Century technology may lead to unprecedented changes in the development of our brains.
Baroness Greenfield will also address how new imaging methods can visualise fundamental brain mechanisms, as well as new ways of treating Alzheimer’s disease.

ATTENDEES
To enable us to control the number of visitors into the building, we are asking all delegates to pre-register in advance. For this reason, registration will close 24 hours prior to the event and only registered guests will be admitted.

Baroness Greenfield, Founder and CEO of Neuro-Bio Ltd (www.neuro-bio. com) is a neuroscientist, writer and broadcaster.
She has published over 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals, based mainly at Oxford University but has held research fellowships at the College de France Paris, NYU Medical Center New York and Melbourne University.

She holds 32 honorary degrees from UK and foreign universities, has received numerous honours including the Legion d’Honneur from the French Government, an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal College of Physicians, The American Academy of Achievement Golden Plate Award, and The Australian Medical Research Society Medal.
She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

  • 18.00 Registration and refreshments
  • 18.30 Welcome and introduction
  • 18.40 The 21st Century mind: Blowing it, expanding it, losing it
  • 19.25 Q&A
  • 19.45 Networking reception
  • 20.15 Close

Past events (432)

Agrifood science in a time of climate change

Needs a location

Photos (651)

Find us also at