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Forthcoming Events

Forthcoming events

Details of our 2023-2024 programme of meetings will be shown here when available.

If you need any additional information please contact Tom Purcell by email or 07306 757000.

Members and visitors are welcome at all meetings.

Meetings are held either online via Microsoft Teams, or as physical meetings.  The choice will be shown here when details are available.  In either case they will commence at 7:00 pm.

27th September 2023: Operations Technology Evolution, by Ian Verhappen, of Willowglen Systems.

This presentation has been moved to the 'Past Events' folder.

25th October 2023:   Bacteria: Plants’ little helpers,
by Susan Mosquito, postdoctoral researcher at Rothamsted Research.

This presentation has been moved to the 'Past Events' folder.

Wednesday 15th November 2023

EMSTA Prestige Seminar:         2023: Artemis - Putting the Man in the Moon
Time:    18:00-20:10 GMT (Log on from 17:30)
Click here for further information.
Access to the Seminar:    The seminar is free, but advance registration is required.

Apologies, thE ABOVE EMSTA event has been postponed.

29th November 2023, at 7:00pm.
The Birth Of A Distillery,  by Mary Vincent of Willow Tree Distillery.

This presentation has been moved to the 'Past Events' folder.

31st January 2024, at 7:00 pm
Using LIDAR & Resistivity Technologies in the Search for a Lost 13th Century Holy Well
Speakers: Paul Tate, Old Linslade Holy Well Project Director, Head of Archaeology, LBDAHS;
 and Andy McGrandle, Geophysicist, Director, Big Anomaly Ltd.

This presentation has been moved to the 'Past Events' folder.

28th February 2024 at 7.00 pm (at The University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield)
This is a joint physical lecture with the Institute of Physics, London and South East Branch,
Creating Energy Efficient Houses, by Grant Henshaw.

A presentation given by Professor Richard Fitton ‘Housing in the UK: How do we get to Net Zero?
is available in the 'Past Events' folder.

27th March 2024, at 7:00pm:-


The Origins of Modern Human Behaviour, by Mark Thomas, Professor of Evolutionary Genetics, UCL.
(Venue: Eaton Electric Ltd, Great Marlings, Luton LU2 8DL).


Mark Thomas is Professor of Evolutionary Genetics at University College London and works mainly on biological and cultural aspects of human evolution.  He uses computer simulation and statistical modelling to make inferences from genetic data – including ancient DNA – and archaeological information, on processes such as past migrations and dispersals, natural selection – particularly in response to changes in diet and infectious disease loads – and how demography shapes cultural evolution.

Modern human behaviour is marked by increased symbolic and technological complexity in the archaeological record.  In western Eurasia this transition is termed the Upper Palaeolithic, and occurred around 45,000 years ago, but many of its features appear transiently in southern Africa about 45,000 years earlier.  I will discuss how demography is a major determinant in the maintenance of cultural complexity and that variation in regional subpopulation density and/or migratory activity results in spatial structuring of cultural skill accumulation.  Genetic estimates of regional population size over time show that densities in early Upper Palaeolithic Europe were similar to those in sub-Saharan Africa when modern behaviour first appeared. Demographic factors can thus explain geographic variation in the timing of the first appearance of modern behaviour without invoking increased cognitive capacity.

Diet and culture are probably the two most central and entangled sub-plots in the story of human evolution.  Most if not all of the major cultural transitions over the last 3 million years had large impacts on diet, and even today, some of the strongest signatures of natural selection in our genomes are linked to dietary change.  The complex relationships between diet, biology, and culture originate from the earliest stone tool use, if not earlier, and have played key roles in the evolution of many human characteristics, including large brains, reduced gut size, and tool use.  Today, food ways and cuisines have strong cultural, ethnic, and geographic associations, and, in some populations, correlate with known biological adaptations.  I will discuss some of the ways that diet, culture, and biology have remained entwined over the past 3 million years.

24th April 2024:-
Measuring Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Why and How?
  by Dr. Alexander Thompson,
Honorary Consultant Neurologist, Oxford MND Centre
(Microsoft Teams).

About this event:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as motor neuron disease, MND) is a devastating disease that causes progressive weakness and death, usually within 3 years from first symptoms.  Symptoms of ALS occur due to death of motor neurons in the nervous system.  Understanding of why and how motor neurons die has advanced enormously, but this has not translated into effective treatments for people living with the disease.  This lecture will explore the underlying reasons for this, discuss the challenges and importance of accurately measuring the disease process and how this offers a means to accelerate the development of treatment.

Dr. Alexander Thompson. 

This Microsoft Teams meeting will commence after a brief AGM, see below.


The talk was preceded by a short InstMC Anglia Section AGM, starting at 7:00pm.

Please refer to 'Past Events' for presentations from previous year's programmes.