The Society's Aims:

Fostering an awareness of the developments in Science and Technology in the wider community in and around Cirencester

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 The Fly in the Cathedral


"How a small group of Cambridge scientists won the race to split the atom".  This is the story of Rutherford and his team of scientists including Cockcroft, Walton and Chadwick at the Cavendish Laboratory 1919 - 1932.

 Brian Cathcart 2004


Viking/Penguin i-xii + 308 £14.99

The Common Thread.

An account of the Human Genome Project at the Sanger Centre in Cambridge and of the determination of the project leader, Sir John Sulston, that the human genome sequence should be freely available to everyone.  He was successful.

John Sulston & Georgina Ferry.  2002

Bantam Press  i-x + 310. £17-99 


Of Moths and Men.

Many biologists were brought up on the famous observations and experiments on the melanic and pale forms of the peppered moth by EB Ford and Bernard Kettlewell as the best example of natural selection in action over a relatively short time scale.  This book queries the validity of the research findings and the integrity of at least one of the scientists involved.  Read it and see whether you agree with the conclusions.  PJN

 Judith Hooper  2002 

Fourth Estate xx + 377


Fred Hoyle: A Life in science.          

Fred Hoyle was probably the greatest astrophysicist of all time. He made a major contribution to the development of naval radar in the Second World War, before going on to research and write about the origin of the universe, promoting the Steady State theory in preference to the now generally accepted Big Bang (a term, incidentally, first coined by Hoyle himself). His major achievement was as a populariser of science, putting difficult concepts of time and size into understandable forms. This book provides a comprehensive, factual and balanced account of his life and achievements.

Since writing this note I have discovered but not bought or read two other books about Fred Hoyle which have been published this year.  They are:

Jane Gregory  2005   Fred Hoyle's  Universe 2005. OUP, £20 

Chandra Wickramasinghe  2005  A Journey with Fred Hoyle (The search for cosmic life). World Publishing, £20 

 Simon Mitton  2005 

 Aurum, £18-99


The Human Mind


This book, written to accompany a TV series, is aimed at the interested layman. Winston attempts to explain the correlation of observed visual and mental effects with the reactions occurring in specific regions of the brain.  Since these regions do not act independently of each other this is no easy task. He quotes widely from the experimental literature, showing scepticism of some experiments and conclusions, but also suggesting that there may be elements of truth in some \'old wives tales\'. It is not a light read, but well worth the effort. JPN.

 Robert Winston 2005

Bantam Press  xiv + 382 


 Sustainable Energy - without the hot air


Clear and authorative, including calculations and referenced sources of data.  A brilliant reference book.

 David J.C. MacKay