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Public Lecture For ‘Chemistry Week’ 28 October 2005

    Chemistry LogoThe Department of Education, in conjunction with the Royal Society of Chemistry, is offering the Manx public the chance to attend a special lecture for ‘Chemistry Week 2005’. Dr John Macdonald of the Department of Chemistry at Bangor University will present “Molecules in the Milky Way Galaxy and Beyond” at St Ninian’s High School lecture theatre on Friday 4 November. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

    The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) is the largest organisation in Europe for advancing chemical sciences. It is 400 years since the word ‘chemistry’ first appeared in the Oxford dictionary and the RSC is celebrating with ‘Chemistry Week’ between Friday 4th and Sunday 13th November. Activities have been organised throughout the UK and Ireland.

    In the Isle of Man, Chemistry Week is being marked by Dr Macdonald’s visit and he will be presenting lectures for students studying Chemistry and Physics in the secondary schools. Local Adviser for Secondary Education, Paul Craine has helped to coordinate the event. “This is a rare opportunity for students in the Isle of Man. The school lectures are aimed at students who already have an understanding of the nature of atoms and molecules as well as some sense of spectroscopy - mainly final year GCSE and sixth form science students. The lecture will extend their knowledge but also allow them to taste what a university lecture might be like. The opportunity to open an evening lecture to the general public was too good to be missed. Many local people will find this topic fascinating and really enjoy the event.”

    The lecture, starting at 7.30pm and lasting just 1 hour, will involve high-resolution images of stars. Dr Macdonald explains the background to his talk: "During the 1970's and 1980's, much to everyone's amazement, the existence of polyatomic molecules in interstellar space was established. Nowadays a wide range of complex molecules is known to exist and the challenge is to understand their origin, chemical and physical behaviour and purpose. Their very existence in our own and other galaxies has transformed our view of stellar evolution and galaxy formation. The lecture will describe the search for molecules in space and attempts to understand their role in the Universe as a whole."

    Attendance at the public lecture (Friday 4 November, 7.30pm, St Ninian’s High School Lecture Theatre) is by ticket but there is no charge. Tickets are available from Joanne Gibson at the Department of Education on 685796.

    28th October 2005

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