café scientifique


Next meeting:
Monday 10th July 2017

UK Nuclear Waste Policy
By Matthew Cotton
University of York


Since the first generation of nuclear weapons and civilian nuclear power in the 1950s and 60s the UK still does not have a final disposal solution for radioactive wastes. Government strategy is to build a geological disposal facility (GDF) – a mined repository for wastes underground. The local geology, the engineered repository and the packaging of the wastes must prevent migration of radionuclides to the surface for 10,000s of years – longer than any previous human dynasty.

Currently, communities volunteer to host a GDF. West Cumbria did so this but Cumbria County Council voted against on matters of environmental impact, and loss of revenue to the region. The matter is therefore a political and moral issue of community fairness, autonomy and the rights of future generations – not just a technical matter of proving long-term safety. How then should these decisions be made? Matthew argues that a practical solution lies in the new technique of deep borehole disposal (DPD) – a ‘pay as you go’ option, that potentially resolves many of the political and moral problems associated with a mined GDF.



Dr Matthew Cotton is a Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of York. Matthew’s research interests lie in the study of environmental justice: how decisions over environmental planning and policy matters can be made fairer for local communities, future generations and the natural environment. In particular, he has explored case studies of nuclear power and radioactive waste management, shale gas extraction, petrochemicals, onshore wind, and electricity transmission and distribution systems. He is the author of two books on these topics: Nuclear Waste Politics (Routledge) and Ethics and Technology Assessment (Springer) and the co-editor of Engaging with Environmental Justice (Inter-Disciplinary Press). He has also held grant funding for his work from a range of sources.



Coming soon:

Monday 10th July 2017
“UK Nuclear Waste Policy”
By Matthew Cotton

August – No Meeting

Monday 11th September 2017
“Going Dutch? Crunching Big Transport Datasets for a Sustainable World”
By Robin Lovelace

Monday 9th October 2017
“Predicting and Preventing Autoimmune Disease – the Ultiimate Panacea”
By Paul Emery and Kulveer Mankia

Monday 13th November 2017
“The Biology of Birds”
By Linda Jenkinson

Monday 11th December 2017
“Managing Sustainable Energy Systems”
By Matt Fawcett

About Café Scientifique

Café Scientifique is a place where people can meet to hear eminent speakers on all things scientific. The events are extremely popular with lively discussion and informative talks. Topics are always relevant, cutting edge and up-to-date. They are often taken from a wider global discussion.

All are welcome. The Café is held at The New Headingley Club on St Michael’s Road.

For information on topics please check back here for updates or for more information see the e-newsletter or the HDT newsletter.

To be added to the Café Scientifique mailing list please fill out the online form opposite.



Monday 11th April 2016
“Monster Magnets: Stellar Birth Control”
By Sven Van Loo

Monday 9th May 2016
“Ask for Evidence”
By Danae Dodge

Monday 13th June 2016
“Herding Hemingway’s Cats: how do genes work?”
By Kate Arney

Monday 11th July 2016
“Climate Change & Rocky Coasts”
By Sue Hull

Monday 12th September 2016
“The Mobility Transformation”
By John Whitelegg

Monday 10th October 2016
“Growing Mini-Brains to Help Understand Cancer”
By Ryan Mathew

Monday 14th November 2016
“Neutrino Astronomy”
By Alan Watson

Monday 12th December 2016
“William Gascoigne – Leeds Astronomer at the Forefront of the Scientific Revolution”
By David Sellers

Monday 9th January 2017
“Mending Broken Hearts”
By John Greenwood

Monday 13th February 2017
“The Peculiarities of Pain and its Management”
By Mark Johnson

Monday 13th March 2017
“Strange Encounters: Paranoia and British Science Fiction Cinema”
By Robert Shail
(Part of and in conjunction with Headingley Literature Festival)

Monday 10th April 2017
“Monitoring the Chernobyl Disaster using Lichens”
By Mark Seaward

Monday 8th May 2017
“Vehicle Emissions”
By James Tate
(part of and in conjunction with
Headingley Festival of Ideas)

Monday 12th June 2017
“Top 10 ways Astronomers control your life”
By Brad Gibson


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additional info

7:30pm – 9:30pm

New Headingley Club
56 St Michael’s Road
Tel: 0113 2757712 (for info. on venue)

Entry £3

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