A State of the Universe Report by Chris Lintott

Oxford Spires were lucky enough to host a talk by Prof Chris Lintott of “The Sky at Night” fame who is an excellent speaker and passionate about the public understanding of science. We had a large number attending the talk – teachers, parents and students, about 180 in total and it was thoroughly entertaining, informative and enjoyable. Chris talked about what is in the astronomical news at the moment, the next NASA mission to Titan which was announced that very evening, exploring asteroids, the weather on different planets in our solar system, discovering exoplanets, the importance of curiosity and much much more, a truly inspirational talk. We also had a fantastic range of questions from students, including about intelligent life elsewhere, how the Mars Rovers landed, and what we might find on the dark side of the moon. There were lots of comments afterwards about how inspiring it was and requests for more such talks – perhaps this might be the first in a series

Chris Lintott is a Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Oxford and also a research fellow at New College. As Principal Investigator of the Zooniverse, he leads a team who run the world’s most successful citizen science projects, allowing more than a million people to discover planets, transcribe ancient papyri or explore the Serengeti. He is best known as co-presenter of the BBC’s long running Sky at Night programme. His first solo book is out in October.

Thanks to Chris, to Sandra Poyser for logistics and to everyone who attended.

Claire Hamnett
Oxford Science Learning Partnership