Observatory and New College of the Humanities lecture trips

Gemma Klein Photography

By Richard Sinclair, Head of Science

It has been a busy week for Bedales Science, a small group of students visited the nearby Observatory at Clanfield on Friday and despite the poor weather had an excellent evening touring the three large observatories and learning about the telescopes (a 5” Thomas Cooke refractor, a 7” Starfire refractor and the latest addition – a 24” reflecting telescope). It was a History, Engineering and Astronomy lesson rolled into one, and the knowledge and enthusiasm of the guides was exceptional. The lecture on ‘observing the night sky’ was truly fascinating and given by an enthusiast with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the skies.

On Monday, a group of 6.1 students (3i and Biologists) visited the New College of the Humanities for an evening lecture by Professor Richard Dawkins. After an introduction by A.C.Grayling, who reminded us of the importance of an understanding of Science to an educated mind, Professor Dawkins gave a wide-ranging talk, the overall theme of which was how strange and wonderful the world is when looked at from a scientific perspective. Quantum mechanics, Chemistry, lots of Animal Physiology and of course, Evolution were all brought in to a mixture of scientific fact, theory, conjecture and interesting quotations. The level of the delivery was very well judged and the lengthy Q & A session at the end was most thought-provoking. A very interesting and successful event.