Dr Michael de Podesta MBE, the physicist who built the most accurate thermometer ever made, gave a lecture entitled ‘how does anyone really know what temperature is?’ during the Oakham School’s annual Science Guest Night.
During his talk, Dr de Podesta cited the groundbreaking work his team have been undertaking at The National Physical Laboratory, where they have recently made the most accurate temperature measurements in human history. He took time to explain how their specially designed acoustic thermometer works and enthralled the auditorium with why we should all be interested in, and care about, temperature.
Students, and over 50 visiting professionals from the world of science, technology and medicine, were able to see first hand, his cutting-edge temperature-reading equipment. The guests represented a wide variety of disciplines – all potential areas for students to consider for future careers. There were GPs, surgeons, nurses and optometrists, along with physicists and engineers across all disciplines (from marine to aerospace), as well as vets, teachers and researchers.
Following the lecture, guests, students and staff enjoyed a buffet supper. This provided a fantastic opportunity for students to learn about where science may lead them.
‘We’ve been running the Science Guest Night for many years now,’ says head of science Dr Chilton. ‘It allows students to have an informal conversation about science careers that interest them. They can learn first-hand the pros and cons of the fields they are considering – which is invaluable for them to be able to make an informed choice about degree pathways. It also opens their eyes to areas they may never have considered and, in engaging at a personal level, they are able to see that scientists are not all geeky!’