A question of energy: virtual lecture series
15 November 2010
Over the last month Dr Tara La Force, a lecturer in Petroleum Engineering in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering, has been hosting an EPSRC-funded public lecture series on The Future of Low Carbon Energy in collaboration with Nature Publishing Group. The series has been designed to share information and opinions about the future of energy, in particular the global future energy outlook and low-carbon energy options.
So far four talks have been broadcast in the 3D virtual world Second Life and students and members of the public from round the world have taken their seats in a virtual amphitheatre to participate. On the South Kensington Campus Imperial staff and students have also gathered in the Royal School of Mines to watch a screening of one event.
“I think there is a serious lack of communication about the energy crisis and we are keen to bring the public into the debate,” explains Tara. “To do this we have invited eminent scientists to present in an accessible way. The plan was to provide a forum where regular members of the public could ask scientists questions directly and to encourage a free dialogue between the two. We want to see if there is something the public feel we should be doing scientifically that we haven’t thought of.”
Tara has developed a Facebook group on Low Carbon Energy to allow the debate to continue after the lectures have finished and the site already has over 100 members.
Among the scientists who have delivered lectures are Professor Nigel Brandon, Director of the Energy Futures Lab who spoke about fuel cells and Dr Steven Sorrell who works for the Sussex Energy Group and was the lead author of the UKERC report on global oil depletion. Steven’s talk examined the available data on oil production and discussed the likelihood of a peak in oil supplies in the next 10, 20 or 50 years.
The Virtual Lecture series concludes this week with Tara herself giving a lecture on Carbon Storage at 17.15 on 16 November in which she will discuss several current CO2 projects around the world and discuss some of the safety issues surrounding this emerging technology. This event will be broadcast from the boardroom at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change, and everyone is invited to attend.
For more information on the lectures and to catch up with the lectures you have missed including Sir Brian Hoskins, Professor Nigel Brandon, Dr Steve Sorrell and Dr Paul Fennell (Chemical Engineering), visit:
To join The Future of Low-Carbon Energy Facebook group visit:
Tags: Chemical Engineering and Chemical Technology, Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Energy, Energy Futures Lab, Grantham Institute for Climate Change
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