café scientifique


Next meeting:
Monday 12th September 2016

The Mobility Transformation:
Time for Change
By John Whitelegg


We have had over 200 years growth in mobility measured by the distances travelled every year. This growth, fed by eye wateringly large subsidies, involves an astonishing lack of comprehension of the huge negative consequences. Governments proclaim the benefits of more airport capacity, more roads and bypasses, more high speed rail and accepts the growth in mobility as good for happiness, wealth and quality of life.

Thirty years of research on mobility has convinced Prof Whitelegg that mobility is bad value for money, damages health and community life and consumes vast amounts of scarce public cash in the name of more and better infrastructure.

His book ‘Mobility …’ proclaims that more mobility does not produce the good things in life and kills over 3000 people every day in road crashes, creates noise and air pollution that damages health, feeds the growth of greenhouse gases and destroys healthy, active travel and community life in sociable neighbourhoods. It is time, he says, to bring an end to the mobility fetish, to replace far with near, to create liveable and child friendly cities and to bring an end to the role of the car as a default option. This requires a serious commitment to “three zeroes”; Zero death and injury in the road traffic environment, Zero air pollution from traffic sources, Zero carbon transport.


John Whitelegg was Head of Department of Geography at Lancaster University and Director of the University’s Environmental Epidemiology Research Unit and is Stockholm Environmental Institute Associate at the University of York. He is managing Director of Eco-Logica, He is also Visiting Professor of Sustainable Transport at Liverpool John Moores University, and founder and editor of the Journal of World Transport Policy and Practice.

John has worked on sustainable transport projects for 30 years and is the author of ten books and over 100 papers. He has worked extensively on consultancy and research projects for the UK local authorities, the European Commission, the Australian federal and state governments and many private sector clients including Pfizer, the US Pharmaceutical manufacturer.

His research interests encompass transport and the environment, definition of sustainable transport systems and a sustainable built environment, development of transport in third world cities focusing on the relationships between sustainability and human health, implementation of environmental strategies within manufacturing and service industry and development of environmental management standards. He has published widely on these topics.


Coming soon:

Monday 12th September 2016
“Suatainable Transport”
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

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 contact: or fill out the online form opposite.



Monday 14th September 2015
“Mathematics in Art”
by David Knapp

Monday 12th October 2015
“Health Freaks on Trial”
By Martin Bland
Health Sciences
University of York

Monday 2nd November 2015
“Mathematics of Sea Waves”
By Tomasz Salwa and Floriane Gidel
School of Mathematics
University of Leeds

Monday 14th December 2015
“Our Technological Footprint on the Universe
–  in 63 steps”
By Dave Webb

Monday 11th January 2016
“Imaging Positrons Inside the Human Body”
By Charalampos Tsoumpas

Monday 8th February 2016
“From Dark Satanic Mills to DNA: the Scientific Heritage of Leeds and how it Changed the World”
By Kersten Hall

Monday 14th March 2016
“The Worst of Times:
How Life on Earth Survived Eighty Million Years of Extinctions”
By Paul Wignall

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


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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 £2

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