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Past Speakers

Pier Emmanuel

Pier-Emmanuel Tremblay

Pier is a Professor in the Astronomy and Astrophysics Group and European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant fellow.

Cosmo-chronology in our neighbourhood of stars and planets
The volume of space within 300 light years from the Sun, a small portion of our own galaxy the Milky Way, contains the brightest specimens of almost all types of stars and planets, but surprisingly it remains poorly explored. The main reason is that most stellar objects in a fixed space volume are small and very faint, most of them being long-lived red stars about 10% of the mass of the Sun, dead stars named "white dwarfs" and rocky Earth-like exoplanets. The spacecraft Gaia from the European Space Agency has provided, for the first time in 2018, a near complete census of stars and white dwarfs within 300 light years, but a full understanding of the local stellar population is still a major challenge. My group at the University of Warwick is leading an ambitious project to improve our knowledge of stellar and planetary evolution using the local space volume. Our novel approach is based on follow-up multi-object spectroscopic observations and state-of-the-art stellar modelling from three-dimensional fluid hydrodynamics. The goal is to unlock the enormous potential of using local stars as cosmic clocks to trace the local stellar and planet formation history for our galaxy. I will discuss the recently discovered signature of old rocky planets that were formed when the Milky Way was still a very young galaxy (10% of the current age of the Universe), in a metal-poor environment that was quite different to when our solar system was formed.
Pier Emmanuel

James Poskett

James is an Associate Professor in the History of Science and Technology at the University of Warwick. His research engages broadly with the global history of science and technology, from 1750 to the present day.

The Global Origins of Modern Science
Where did modern science come from? Until recently, most historians agreed that the origins of modern science could be located in Europe, sometime between 1500 and 1700. In this talk, based on the latest scholarship, I present a very different account. Beginning in the fifteenth century and moving right through to the present, I make the case for the global origins of modern science, exploring the ways in which Africa, America, Asia and the Pacific fit into the story. The history of modern science, I argue, needs to be understood as part of a history of global cultural exchange. In making this argument, I uncover the forgotten contributions of scientists from around the world, whilst also making the ethical, political, and intellectual case a critical engagement with the legacies of the history in the world of science today.