Natural Sciences: Global Challenges Need Interdisciplinary Scientists To Solve Them – Is Fusion A Solution To The Energy Crisis? With Professor Roddy Vann, Society For Natural Sciences
November 24 @ 13:00 - 14:00 GMT
The human species is facing challenges of unprecedented reach and complexity: climate change, viral pandemic, shortage of energy, antibiotic resistance, cyber-warfare.
These problems are complex because their solution lies across the boundaries of the traditional disciplines: for example, in the current pandemic our ability to combat the virus is reliant on the software engineering of track-and-trace apps; mental health is coupled with the availability of videoconferencing tools; epidemiology is as much mathematics and biology. Even beyond this pandemic (and indeed even beyond science), our complex society needs people who can solve problems by bringing together ideas in new ways from across disciplines; this is the most important thing you get from Natural Sciences — not only expert subject knowledge but also the appreciation that different parts of science regard problems in different ways.
As a case study Roddy will consider whether fusion is a solution to the energy crisis: arguably the greatest challenge of this century is to provide sufficient energy that everyone on the planet has access to a decent standard of living. This challenge covers topics from engineering to politics. Fusion is the process that powers our Sun and indeed all stars; there is sufficient fuel on the Earth to provide everyone’s energy for thousands of years; the technology is inherently safe — but it is very difficult to do. Does it present a solution to the energy crisis?
Professor Roddy Vann is from the Department of Physics at University of York. In this session, Roddy represents the recently formed Society for Natural Sciences, a national learned society that promotes interdisciplinary science education and research.
Follow-up resources linking this webinar to A-level, BTEC, T-level and IB curricula will be made available after this session via the Society for Natural Sciences website.
Lecturer Biography (Please Click): Professor Roddy Vann
Suitable for: Year 12 & 13 students, and equivalent, studying Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Maths, Earth Sciences.
Preparation or Pre-Reading: There is no preparation required although students are advised to consider the subject area in advance and think about any questions they might like to ask about Fusion and the Energy Crisis, and/or Natural Sciences.
The IT Setup: The event will be run on Bluejeans and participants will be able to join using laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. If you are joining as a school group, we recommend connecting with one device and projecting on to a whiteboard. You will be able to interact with the university via a microphone and/or typed comments and questions. Full details will be sent to those who have registered (see below) prior to the event.