A bumper attendance at the last in the series of Science lectures was recorded by Crewkerne & District U3A. Extra chairs had to be brought into the hall at the George Reynolds Centre, to accommodate all the U3A members and public who went along to hear Dr Martin Smith’s talk on the Science of the Dead. U3A Chairperson Sheila Seymour said: “I suppose you could say we were dead lucky to get him. He was a brilliant, charismatic speaker and it was a great way to finish the series of talks.”
Dr Smith, who is a biological anthropologist at Bournemouth University and works with ancient skeletons as well as helping the police and coroners with modern forensic cases, brought the culture bites of science lectures to a close with the story of a mummified head that he was asked to examine at the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall. Originally thought to be the head of a criminal hanged in Medieval times, with the help of Poole Hospital, Bournemouth University and friends in Canada, Dr Smith discovered that it belonged to an Egyptian Mummy, dating from between 695 to 234 BC.
The recent series of Science lectures had begun on October 2nd with a talk on Ancient Buildings with Peter Cooper. Other weekly talks included Spiders – their diversity, behaviour and anatomy with Conservator of Natural Sciences Simon Moore, Garden Design; Matching the Plot to the Brief with Marion Dale, Seaweed; Women of the Shore with Jenny Bryant and Astrology Beyond the Zodiac Belt with Ana Stasia, who left the audience spell-bound after sharing quotes from ancient manuscripts that linked astrology and astronomy with hidden messages in celebrated works about myths and legends. U3A chairperson Sheila Seymour said: “She presented a very convincing argument. It was a terrific talk and we came away with a lot to think about.” The recent culture bites on Science followed on from the first series of talks on the Arts, presented at the GRC in March and April this year. The opportunity for members of the public to attend the lectures has proved a great success and the community is eagerly waiting to see if a further series of culture bites will be announced for next year.