LiGHTING the way for research: hundreds turn out for science showcase

LiGHTS NightsScientific research which is changing the world we live in today has been opened up to the public as part of a showcase celebrating developments across all areas of science.

Hundreds of schoolchildren, University students and inquisitive members of the public came face to face with skeletons, robots and life-size terracotta warriors among other projects, as part of LiGHTS Nights (Lincoln – Get Hold of Tech and Science) at the University of Lincoln, UK.

The science extravaganza was one of more than 250 events occurring simultaneously across Europe on Friday 30th September as part of the annual European Researchers’ Night event.

The action-packed day on the University of Lincoln’s Brayford campus hosted scientific workshops and exhibitions ranging from skeletal examinations by forensic archaeologists and an extraordinary collection of replica Terracotta Warriors, to archaeological excavations in thousands of UK gardens which are mapping the impact of the Black Death.

Other activities included workshops which enabled visitors to extract DNA from everyday food using ordinary chemicals such as washing-up liquid and alcohol, learn how dogs are helping humans with their health, and meet an ensemble cast of robots from the University’s School of Computer Science. The day also included talks covering topics from sleep to animal behaviour.

The aim was to inspire people of all ages to learn more about university research. LiGHTS has been spearheaded by Carenza Lewis, a leading archaeologist who featured on the acclaimed Time Team television series.

Professor Lewis, Professor for the Public Understanding of Research at the University of Lincoln, said: “The activities and exhibits on show for LiGHTS Night 2016 were superb, with a range and variety which offered anyone and everyone an intriguing day.  More than 95 per cent of visitors enthusiastically commended the activities they took part in as enjoyable, interesting and informative, while 74 per cent of school students were inspired to consider a career in STEM (Science, technology engineering or maths). University staff enjoyed presenting the work they love to receptive audiences, and we are already looking forward to making next year even better.”

Contributions came from academics across the University’s Colleges of Science, Arts and Social Science.
The European Researchers’ Night initiative has been funded by the EU under HORIZON 2020 in the framework of the Marie Sklodowska Curie actions. LiGHTS Nights 2016 was Lincoln’s first participation in the initiative and further funding has been secured for the University to take part again in 2017.


Life Sciences to lead LiGHTS Nights science extravaganza

Skeletons, bush-crickets and dogs helping human health, these are just a few of the fascinating interactive sessions running for an extraordinary one-day science showcase hosted by the University of Lincoln.
Lights Nights Lincoln
See the world of Life Sciences with Lights Nights in Lincoln

LiGHTS Nights – a celebration of how science and technology impacts on our daily lives –will take place on the University of Lincoln’s Brayford Pool campus and in venues across the city on Friday 30th September 2016.


With a thought-provoking programme of activities asking questions like ‘Am I smarter than my tortoise?’ and ‘Pigs, chickens and criminals’, and Life Sciences are leading the show with over 10 different workshops, tours and lectures throughout the day. Book your place now.
LiGHTS Nights will see academics from the University’s Colleges of Science, Arts and Social Science present their pioneering studies and invite visitors to become scientists for the day by participating in a range of different activities and experiments.


PG Forensic Anthropology studentsHighlights include Skeletons in the cupboard – an interactive demonstration by forensic archaeologists showing what can be discovered about people’s past lives from studying their skeletons, using finds from Roman and medieval Lincoln. As part of the demo, the researchers from Lincoln’s School of Life Sciences will offer insights into how conditions such as anaemia, malnutrition, tuberculosis and leprosy are recognised. Book here.

We ask, Are human eyes best? See the world through an animals eyes with our specialised camera in a session given by Tom Pike and Anna Wilkinson 1-5pm in JBL, ground floor. Book here.

DNA workshops will enable visitors to extract DNA from everyday food using ordinary chemicals such as washing-up liquid and alcohol – with the chance to win souvenir ‘take-home’ tubes of DNA. Sessions will run 12pm, 2pm, 4pm in the Science Building by Stefan Milson. Click here to book for 12pm. Click here to book for 2pm. Click here to book for 4pm.

Shedding light on mysteries from the animal world, Lincoln researchers will present their work exploring how dogs are helping human health; which diseases have been passed to the human race from the animal kingdom; and the colourful traits developed by creatures around the world to attract their mates. Click here to book for 12pm, Click here to book for 2pm, and Click here for 7pm session and join in this great workshop with Professor Daniel Mills.

Ears in the legs - How do bush-crickets produce soundHave you ever wondered how bush-crickets produce their sound, and how do they hear their own sound? Researcher Fernando Montealegre-Z and Thorin Jonsson will answer this in ‘Ears in the legs’ between 12pm and 9pm in the Joseph Banks Atrium in our Joseph Banks Laboratories. Book here

LiGHTS Nights is free to attend but bookings for individual sessions should be made in advance. More more information is available and bookings can be made online.

Remember Sir Joseph Banks

Learn more about Sir Joseph Banks in a FREE talk at the Lincoln Cathedral on April 28th.

JBLThe University of Lincoln’s Joseph Banks Laboratories is named in memory after the famous Lincolnshire science patron.

The talk named “Sir Joseph Banks in Iceland and the North Atlantic” will be given in the beautiful walls of Wren Library at 3pm by Professor Anna Agnarsdóttir from the University of Iceland. The event will be followed by Mark Hocknull leading you all on “Bank’s Walk” in the Cathedral.

The event is co-sponsored by the University of Lincoln, Lincoln Cathedral and the Hakluyt Society of London who is publishing Anna’s  Sir Joseph Banks: Iceland and the North Atlantic, 1772-1820: Journals, Letters and Documents.

Please do RSVP you and your guests to Mrs Julie Taylor at

Science is on the menu

Scientists will be swapping the lab for the pub at Lincoln’s first Café Scientifique event next month.

The aim is to bring together like-minded people to chat about major scientific topics and how these advances impact on our lives.

But you don’t need a degree to get involved; the aim is to bring science out of a traditional academic context and open it up for debate in a relaxed environment.

Three University of Lincoln Biomedical students have set up Café Scientifique Lincoln and hope it will bring members of the local community, staff and students together.

Founded by Sean Tomlinson, Rohan Krajeski and Erik Marzaganov, the first Café Scientifique will take place at 6pm on the top floor of The Shed on Monday, 11th November.

Sean said: “I really do think knowledge broadens the mind – on top of what people will learn from the talks, there will be plenty of opportunity for discussion on a whole host of topics over the coming months. This is a great way for people from all backgrounds to share ideas with each other.”

Dr Rajiv Machado, from the University’s School of Life Sciences, who promoted and has supported the concept of a Café Scientifique for Lincoln, will give a talk ‘Unravelling the genome: the future of human health or a Pandora’s box?’

Dr Machado explains: “The last few years have seen a revolution in our ability to rapidly analyse and study the human genome. These advances have led to innumerable breakthroughs in the understanding of human disease, leading to an efficient information transfer from lab bench to hospital bedside. Yet, accessing the complete genetic blueprint of populations comes with inherent risk that, if not ethically managed, may lead to disastrous consequences. I’ll be throwing this topic open for discussion.”

Since 1998, when the first Café Scientifiques were held in Leeds, the cafes have covered almost every conceivable scientific topic from the Big Bang, biodiversity, cancer and code-breaking to Darwinism, ecology, evolution and global warming.

Rohan added: “A lot of people aren’t really exposed to science but this is about having a drink and talking about issues and advancements in an informal setting – there are no right or wrong answers.”

The Lincoln Café will be held on a monthly basis with academics speaking on a variety of issues.

For more information on the Café or how to become a speaker go to

World Habitat Day Welcome Evening

The University has become part of a select group of institutions to hold UN-HABITAT partner status, and to raise awareness of the new opportunities for staff and students a welcome evening will take place on Monday 7 October.
Date: Monday 7th October 2013
Time: 6pm – 8pm
Location: EMMTEC Lecture Theatre
The University of Lincoln is now one of a select group of institutions to hold partner status with UN-HABITAT – a pioneering United Nations settlement programme, opening the door for staff and students to engage with humanitarian projects around the globe.
To introduce the programme and the new opportunities the partnership will bring, we would like to invite you to a welcome evening on Monday 7th October 2013, which will also mark World Habitat Day.
Refreshments will be provided and academics from a variety of disciplines will deliver short presentations on their experiences of human settlements around the world:
• Professor Hugh Byrd: The Upside Down World of Humanitarian Aid in the South Pacific
• Dr Lucy Easthope: Research into Active Practice: Reflections of a Disaster Response Researcher
• Dr Carl OCoill: The Missionary Position
Places do not need to be booked, and for information contact Professor Hugh Byrd:
The University of Lincoln’s World Habitat Day event will introduce the programme, and its University Network Initiative, which will provide staff and students from the University of Lincoln with access to unique research opportunities and UN resources.
For more information on UN-HABITAT and the University Network Initiative visit