Where do we begin with the Universe and where will it end? Professor Brian Schmidt, astronomer and Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, presented a Roscoe Lecture examining this. Professor Schidmt, who is also a Laureate Fellow and Distinguished Professor at The Australian National University, took the audience on a tour of the Universe, using the speed of light as a tour guide and explained why other galaxies are moving away from us.
The Professor drew on experience from his PhD at Harvard University which led to his leadership of the HighZ Supernova Search team, who made the startling discovery that the expansion rate of the Universe is accelerating, work that earned him the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics.
His Lecture, which took place at the Adelphi Hotel, looked at how we make measurements of the Universe and even though science continues to develop, we still have so much to learn through exploring the 'needles in the haystack' of our own galaxy.
Professor Schmidt concluded by detailing what is behind the push and pull the Universe: Dark Energy versus Dark Matter.
Research at LJMU’s internationally acclaimed Astrophysics Research Institute (ARI) is also exploring this. They recently teamed up with horticulturalists, construction experts and an architect to create a garden for the 2015 RHS Chelsea Flower Show to help explain major workings of the Universe. Through innovative design and planting, the team from LJMU’s National Schools’ Observatory (NSO), explored Dark Matter and its effect on light, receiving Gold in the Fresh Gardens category.
Sponsored by the Science and Technology Facilities Council, who fund UK involvement in Dark Matter research as well as the UK team at the Large Hadron Collider in CERN, the garden aimed to excite and inspire everyone but particularly school children in the study of science through astronomy.
The inquisitive mind of a local school pupil was also celebrated at the Roscoe Lecture. Good Citizenship Award winner Ewan Jones from St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School in Knowsley was recognised for outstanding contributions to his school.
This was through his representation as a School Council Representative and a School Parliament Representative attending many meetings across the Borough. He was one of the children chosen to interview the candidates applying to be the new Head Teacher and was interviewed in a recent Ofsted inspection. Teacher, Mr Maloney described Ewan as "one of a kind" with a "wonderful, analytical mind" and a "credit to the school and his parents".
The Roscoe Lectures use research, humour and political insight to explore current, engaging topics. The lectures also feature LJMU’s Good Citizenship Awards which recognise the often overlooked contributions that local, young people from different cultures and communities make to society today.
Further information about future lectures and registration are available on the Roscoe Lecture webpage