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Polymers: Experimental Evidence

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As an experimental scientist, I have built my own apparatus to measure properties of materials, sent sample materials to another organisation and received data in return, supervised new young scientists starting their own research careers who come to me to discuss their measurements, and used large multi-user apparatus at international facilities where I have little or no control over the construction and maintenance. Add to this the fact that modern technology and IT often presents the experimentalist with data from an apparatus where the “numbers” are far removed from the “raw” measurement. In every case there is a judgement to be made about the reliability of the results with which I am presented. The talk will discuss how these judgements can be made. Then, given an observation of certain behaviour, how can the evidence be presented to the scientific community in a way that allows them to make their own judgements.

Professor Dame Julia Higgins is currently Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Investigator in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London, where she specialises in polymer research. She was named Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2001 Birthday Honours, and in March 2010 was announced by the UKRC as one of six Women of Outstanding Achievement in Science, Engineering and Technology.

This talk is part of the Stokes Society, Pembroke College series.

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