Summer Science Strolls

Please book your place online.

Nature's rich chemistry: How do we know what molecules look like? (Thursday 30th June 2013)

A rich variety of molecules occur naturally in plants and some have incredible properties: from bitter tastes to anti-cancer activity.

This walk will take in plants in the Botanic Garden from which interesting molecules have been discovered and describe how we can use analytical techniques to understand their shape and functions. Led by Richard Cooper.


From Air To Fertiliser: Nitrogen and the nutrients of life (Thursday 13th June 2013)

Explore areas of the Gardens where we can see evidence of the importance of nitrogen to plants and bacteria. We will look at how some species have found mutually beneficial ways to live together, and the molecular machinery inside the bacteria that enables them to extract nitrogen from the air. Finally, we will look at some research from the University Chemistry Department aimed at improving our understanding of these processes. Led by Kylie Vincent.

Thursday 13th June 2013.


From Flowers To Flasks: Connecting plants to organic chemistry (Thursday 27th June 2013)

This walk will reveal the fascination of plants to organic chemists – how the molecules produced by plants growing in the Botanic Garden have brought so much inspiration to chemistry. We will look at how the isolation and identification of molecules from plants has driven organic chemistry from infancy to a blossoming science over the last 100 years. We will also look at some plants in the Garden that have yielded molecules that are actively being worked on in the University Chemistry Department. Led by Ed Anderson.

Thursday 27th June 2013.


Mineral Components of Soil: What do plants grow on? (Thursday 11th July 2013)

Have you ever wondered why coffee from Hawaii tastes so great? Or, how radioactivity and pollution can be removed from soil? Or, why clay is so slippery when it rains? The answers to these questions lie in understanding the mineral content of soil and how it can impact soil and plant growth. Learn about minerals in the soil, how their atomic structure affects their properties and how they retain water and nutrients in soil. Led by Asel Sartbaeva.


Memoirs of a (Minor) Prophet (Thursday 25th July 2013)

The 1947 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Sir Robert Robinson, Waynflete Professor of Chemistry (1930-1954) "for his investigations on plant products of biological importance, especially the alkaloids". Steve will show how the study and use of plant derived alkaloids continues to benefit mankind’s well being. Led by Steve Davies.


These guided walks will take place at 6.30pm at the Botanic Garden and will last approximately an hour followed by a glass of wine or soft drink. Tickets cost £10 per stroll or £45 for the series of 5.