About Us

Each month Oriel Science Cafe invites a leading expert in their field to give a brief introductory talk followed by a friendly informal chat. You can sit back, relax with a drink in your hand and listen or get involved in the discussion and debate.

Waterfront museum


Climate Challenge: the facts and the effects
Professor Siwan Davies (Swansea University)
Wednesday 5th December at 7:30pm

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity. In 2015 Prof. Siwan Davies, a Geographer and climate scientist from Swansea University, embarked on a journey to find out how climate change is already affecting communities around the world. From the heights of the Greenland ice sheet to the low-lying islands of the Maldives, Siwan’s experiences were featured in two TV documentary series produced by Elin Rhys and Telesgop for S4C and Sky Vision. In this Christmas lecture Siwan shares her experiences of leaving her research laboratory to find out more about the real-life impacts, actions and solutions to our climate challenge.

Newid hinsawdd yw un o’r heriau mwyaf sy’n wynebu dynoliaeth. Yn 2015 cychwynodd Yr Athro Siwan Davies, Daearyddwraig a gwyddonydd yr hinsawdd, ar daith i ganfod sut mae cymunedau ar draws y byd eisoes yn teimlo effeithiau newid hinsawdd. O uchelfannau'r Ynys Las i ynysoedd isel y Maldives, buodd profiadau Siwan yn rhan o ddwy gyfres ddogfen a luniwyd gan Elin Rhys a Telesgop ar gyfer S4C a Sky Vision. Bydd Siwan yn rhannu eu phrofiadau o adael y labordy ymchwil i ganfod mwy am effeithiau ac ymatebion i her yr hinsawdd.


FameLab - Swansea Heats
(in association with Swansea University Public Engagement Forum)
Wednesday 30th January 2019 at 7:30pm

FameLab is the UK's biggest competition to discover new talent in the communication of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Come along tonight and hear aspiring science communicators battle it out for a place in the Swansea heat!

FameLab - Wales Finale 
(in association with Swansea University Public Engagement Forum) 
Wednesday 27th February 2019 at 7:30pm

Oriel Science Cafe is delighted to again host the All-Wales final of FameLab, the UK's largest competition to discover the next big science communicator. The winner of tonight's competition goes to the UK-wide final, so come along and listen to our skilled presenters educate and entertain.

Cefn Coed Remembered: creating a legacy 
Martin Thomas, ABMU (NHS)
Wednesday 27th March 2019 at 7:30pm

ABMU Heritage Team had the unique opportunity of capturing the legacy of Cefn Coed Hospital; a psychiatric hospital in Swansea, which opened in 1932 and is now being decommissioned. Martin Thomas will give an insight into how working in partnership with Swansea University and Oriel Science, along with local artists, poets, computer engineers and past and present staff members, collaborated to bring together an exploratory and interactive exhibition at Swansea Museum. Martin will also discuss how the challenges during the process were overcome and resolved to an outstanding conclusion.

Inner space: the hidden architecture of nature
Prof Richard Johnston (Swansea University)
Wednesday 24th April 2019 at 7:30pm

Discover an unseen world in minute detail. From heart tissue to ancient mummies, cuttlefish to leafcutter ants - using the latest X-ray imaging techniques to reveal the amazing microstructures usually hidden from view, in the world around us. Explore the form and function of the internal architectures of nature and find out how they can inspire and improve new materials and engineering design.

Cael cipolwg y tu mewn i bethau: pensaernïaeth gudd natur Cewch ddarganfod byd nas gwelwyd o'r blaen yn fanwl iawn. O feinwe'r galon i fymïod hynafol, ystifflogod i forgrug sy'n torri dail – gallwn weld y microstrwythurau anhygoel nad oes modd eu gweld fel arfer yn y byd o'n cwmpas drwy ddefnyddio'r technegau delweddu pelydr-x diweddaraf. Edrychwch ar ffurf a swyddogaeth pensaernïaeth fewnol natur a gweld sut y gallant ysbrydoli a gwella deunyddiau newydd a'r gwaith o ddylunio peirianneg.

Citizen Science & plastic pollution & marine biology 
Lauren Eyles
Wednesday 29th May 2019 at 7:30pm

Our world is changing at an incredible rate due to human intervention and a lot of what is changing, we don’t know much about. I have spent my life working towards this – trying to find out more, with volunteers. Sabellaria alveolata is a species of filter-feeding polychaete worm found on the intertidal and they form low lying reefs where they are frequentThese reefs are hugely important as they create a living habitat which supports a wide range of other species but can also tell us more about conservation issues. Cetaceans or charismatic megafauna – are at the top of the food chain and by monitoring their populations and distribution, both dead and alive, we are able to build up a picture of hotspots, feeding and breeding areas which will help to gain an insight into the health of the ocean. Marine litter – a widely known problem which requires human intervention from all angles to turn things around and prevent a growing problem from impacting more on wildlife and us.

Gwyddoniaeth dinasyddion – o fwydod rhynglanw, morfilod a sbwriel yn nyfroedd y DU. Mae'n byd yn newid ar gyflymder syfrdanol o ganlyniad i ymyriad dynol ac yn achos llawer o'r hyn sy'n newid, nid ydym yn gwybod llawer amdano. Rwyf wedi treulio fy mywyd yn gweithio tuag at hyn – gan geisio darganfod mwy, gyda gwirfoddolwyr. Mae sabellaria alveolata yn rhywogaeth o fwydyn gwrychog hidl-ymborthol sy'n byw yn y rhynglanw. Maent yn creu riffiau isel lle maent yn niferus.Mae'r riffiau hyn yn hynod bwysig gan eu bod yn creu cynefin byw sy'n cefnogi amrywiaeth eang o rywogaethau eraill, ond gallant hefyd roi gwybodaeth i ni am faterion cadwraeth. Mae morfilod neu fegafawna carismatig ar frig y gadwyn fwyd, a thrwy fonitro eu poblogaethau a'u dosbarthiad, boed yn farw neu'n fyw, mae'n bosib i ni ddatblygu darllen o'r mannau pwysig ac ardaloedd bwydo a bridio a fydd yn helpu i roi gwybodaeth am iechyd y cefnfor. Sbwriel dŵr – dyma broblem sydd wedi denu llawer o sylw ac mae angen ymyriad dynol o bob ochr er mwyn newid y sefyllfa ac atal y broblem rhag gwaethygu ac effeithio llawer mwy ar fywyd gwyllt a ni.

Profiling online groomer language
Professors Nuria Lorenzo-Dus (Swansea University) and Adeline Paiement (University of Toulon)
Wednesday 26th June 2019 at 7:30pm

Paedophiles increasingly exploit the internet and inadequate social media platform regulation to sexually groom children online, using different digital platforms to cultivate multiple potential victims simultaneously. Current online grooming detection and prevention methods struggle to protect them. In this lecture we explain how, by using a ground-breaking combination of corpus linguistics and machine learning techniques, we have developed a research programme in collaboration with stake-holders that will increase resilience against online grooming. We focus on two practical disruption measures within this programme – an anti-grooming training pack for professionals working with at risk children, and a web-based application to help law enforcement officials detect grooming content online.
Mae pedoffiliaid yn manteisio fwyfwy ar y rhyngrwyd a rheoliadau annigonol yn y cyfryngau cymdeithasol i feithrin perthnasoedd rhywiol â phlant ar-lein, gan ddefnyddio platfformau digidol gwahanol i feithrin perthnasoedd â nifer o darpar dioddefwyr ar yr un pryd. Nid yw’r dulliau presennol o ganfod ac atal gweithgarwch yr ysglyfaethwyr hyn ar-lein yn effeithiol wrth ddiogelu plant. Yn y ddarlith hon, byddwn yn esbonio sut rydym yn defnyddio cyfuniad arloesol o ieithyddiaeth gorpws a thechnegau dysgu peirianyddol i ddatblygu rhaglen ymchwil ar y cyd â rhanddeiliaid er mwyn cynyddu gallu i atal gweithgarwch meithrin perthnasoedd amhriodol ar-lein. Mae'r rhaglen hon yn canolbwyntio ar ddau ddull atal ymarferol - pecyn cymorth hyfforddiant ar gyfer ymarferwyr proffesiynol sy'n gweithio gyda phlant mewn perygl ac ap ar y we i helpu swyddogion gorfodi'r gyfraith i ganfod cynnwys ar-lein ar gyfer meithrin perthnasoedd amhriodol.

Bones of the warship Mary Rose: what they tell us and where they lead us
Dr Nick Owen (Swansea University)
Wednesday 25th September 2019 at 7:30pm

The sinking of the Mary Rose in 1545 in front of Henry VIII was a moment of huge historical significance, and since it was raised in 1982, the ship and its contents have led to a tremendous increase in our understanding of that period. Archers were the Tudor's most highly professional soldiers and made up a large proportion of the crew of the Mary Rose. But how do we know this? Dr Nick Owen of the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences will explain how he identified the different occupations of those on board the Mary Rose using state-of-the-art motion capture technology and laser measurements of their skeletons.
This talk relates to an exhibition with Mary Rose artefacts currently running in the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Dr Chris Pak (Swansea University)
Wednesday 30th October 2019 at 7:30pm

Forty years on from the novel's first publication, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's strong fan culture and adaptation in multiple formats is testimony to its continued popularity. This science fiction classic re-frames scientific ideas through its own comic logic to construct madcap plots and memorable comic sequences. In this talk Chris Pak explores some of the reasons for the story's popularity and asks how the The Hitchhiker's Guide makes use of, and sometimes subverts, science for its own comic project.
Pedwar deg mlynedd ers cyhoeddi’r nofel, mae’r diwylliant cryf o ddarllenwyr selog The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxya’r llu o addasiadau mewn fformatau gwahanol yn dyst i’w phoblogrwydd hir dymor. Mae’r ffuglen glasurol hon yn cyflwyno syniadau gwyddonol drwy ei rhesymeg ddigrif ei hun i greu stori wallgof a golygfeydd o gomedi cofiadwy. Yn y sgwrs hon, bydd Chris Pak yn archwilio rhai o’r rhesymau dros boblogrwydd y stori ac yn gofyn sut mae’r Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy yn defnyddio gwyddoniaeth, ac weithiau yn ei gwyrdroi, at ei dibenion digrif ei hun.

How to Make a Simple Oil (or Gas) Reservoir in Five Steps
Ian Prothero
Wednesday 27th November 2019 at 7:30pm

Our overreliance on hydrocarbons and their effects on the environment and climate are now undeniable. This talk will take us back to how we got to this point, discussing how and where hydrocarbon reservoirs are formed and the engineering side of rig construction and operation. Ian will talk about his career as a consultant geologist working on exploration rigs searching for hydrocarbons with different oil companies around the world, from Greenland to Papua New Guinea.

Mae ein gorddibyniaeth ar hydrocarbonau a’u heffeithiau ar yr amgylchedd a’r hinsawdd bellach yn anwadadwy.  Bydd y sgwrs hon yn mynd â ni nôl i wraidd y broblem, gan drafod sut a ble mae cronfeydd hydrocarbon yn ffurfio ac ochr beirianneg adeiladu llwyfannau olew a’u gweithredu. Bydd Ian yn siarad am ei yrfa fel daearegydd ymgynghorol yn gweithio ar archwilio i lwyfannau olew ar gyfer hydrocarbonau gyda chwmnïoedd olew gwahanol ledled y byd, o’r Ynys Las i Papua New Guinea.



About Us

Oriel Science Café is committed to promoting public engagement with science and to making science accountable. This public lecture series has been running since 2005! Science Cafés are held in casual settings across the UK and further afield. They are informal and accessible and entry is entirely free. They usually start with a short talk from the speaker, usually a scientist or writer, followed by a quick break for glasses to be refilled and then half an hour or so of discussion afterwards. Previous topics have included dark matter, the common cold, Dr Who, the Big Bang and alternative therapies. The first Cafes Scientifiques in the UK were held in Leeds in 1998. From there cafés gradually spread across the country where you can meet regularly to hear scientists or writers on science talk about their work and discuss it with diverse audiences.

Oriel Science is Swansea University's science engagement project  It's mission is to “Showcase Science in the Community”. Oriel Science built a pop-up exhibition centre in the city centre, runs school outreach events, exhibits in events across South Wales, organises special exhibitions in the National Waterfront Museum and ... runs the Oriel Scienc Café.