'The Wonder Dialogues: Vibration in Nature' with Sonia Contera and Caspar Henderson

Past Event

20 February 2018, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

This event is organised by Caspar Henderson and Sonia Contera, as part of the Wonder Dialogues series.

From the cosmos itself to the inner workings of life, vibrations play a fundamental role in a huge range of natural phenomena, as well as our daily lives. Join a physicist and a writer in the second of The Wonder Dialogues as they explore some of the most astonishing and surprising ways in which vibration shapes our world, many of which we are only beginning to understand.

About the speakers

Sonia Contera is a physicist at the University of Oxford, where her work lies at the interface of physics, biology and nanotechnology, bridging fundamental science with applications in biomedicine. Sonia is interested in the fundamental principles underlying biological function. In particular in the way biological systems are constructed hierarchically from the nanometre to the micron to the meter scales, and the role of mechanics in bridging scales and transmitting information. This fundamental knowledge can be used to improve current medical treatments and to create novel diagnostic and therapeutic technologies. She is also interested in learning the rules of physics underlying life, because this knowledge unlocks unprecedented powers for the creation of future materials and technologies. She is currently Chair of the Scanning Probe Microscopy Section of the Royal Microscopy Society, and a member of EPSRC Strategy Advisory Team on Physical Sciences. Sonia was founder and co-director of the Oxford Martin Institute of Nanoscience for Medicine at the University of Oxford, and was a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda council on nanotechnology. She is the author of over 50 academic peer reviewed publications and is currently finishing her first popular science book on nanotechnology and the future of medicine.

Caspar Henderson is a writer, journalist and convenor of The Wonder Dialogues, in which he talks to extraordinary people doing fascinating work about amazing things. His is the author of A New Map of Wonders, which The Wall Street Journal describes as “surprising, moving and memorable…a book that]absolutely succeeds [and] will linger with you long after you put it down,” and The Guardian calls “lucid, elegant and wide-ranging...A love letter to, and product of, the extraordinary, irreducible abundance of the human mind.” His previous work, The Book of Barely Imagined Beings, was shortlisted for the Royal Society Winton prize for science books in 2013, and has been translated into ten languages.