Science and Technology Facilities Council
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Dinosaur hunter to reveal the secrets of the T-Rex

An internationally-renowned palaeontologist will be giving a free public lecture about the last days of the dinosaurs in Swindon next month as part of a series of science events organised by STFC.

World-leading expert in natural history, Professor Phil Manning, will be bringing a taste of the Cretaceous period to Swindon in December in the second talk of this series, following the first event last month on solar weather given by eminent solar physicist Dr Helen Mason OBE.

Dinosaurs are an icon of extinction – but our knowledge of the events which wiped the creatures off the Earth is still relatively limited. However, the latest imaging technology is helping us to understand more than ever before about the extinction of the dinosaurs – and this is the subject of Dr Manning’s talk.

He yesterday said:

“Hunting dinosaurs in the 21st Century is still one of the best jobs to have in the world. The tools we use are pretty much the same as those deployed for centuries. A hammer and pick is still useful in the field, however, we also have a bunch of new tools and techniques to help study fossils in the laboratory.

“Using particle accelerators might appear more the territory of physicist Brian Cox, but our team is just as happy working in these facilities. Using these instruments we are now able to unpick some of the most complex chemistry allowing us to gain new insights into the biology, function and evolution of life on Earth – including unpicking the secrets of the T-Rex.”

STFC funds some of the most innovative and ground-breaking science and technology programmes in the world from its office base in Swindon.

Until now, STFC has focused its outreach on schools and museums across the UK – but the organisation is now giving something back to its hometown by organising a series of free public lectures, which focus on the amazing work it funds.

Head of Skills and Engagement at STFC Derek Gillespie yesterday said:

“Dr Phillip Manning is an internationally renowned expert in his field and this talk is not to be missed by anyone who has an interest in palaeontology.

“By organising these free events in Swindon, we are hoping to give the local public a chance to see some of the incredible frontier research being undertaken by the UK experts funded by STFC.”

The event is being held New College on December 12th at 7pm. Click here for more information or to register for the event.


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