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Public Lecture: Space Science in Europe

Professor David Southwood, Director of Science at the European Space Agency (ESA), will deliver a lecture entitled Space Science in Europe, in the Rotunda Theatre, St Patrick's Trian at 8.00pm on Friday 5th May.

David Southwood commented: "The last few years have brought back to public attention the fact that Europeans are involved in space exploration. The results returned from Mars and the successful landing on Titan are only part of the story and much is still to come. The universe beyond our planet is slowly being unveiled and space science has played and will continue to play a primary part in this. Why should we all in Europe be involved? One motive is basic, namely, to understand our Earth's part in the grand scheme of things and how life (as represented by ourselves) came to evolve. Is such inspiration the end of it or are there also more down-to-Earth reasons for going into space?"

David Southwood graduated in 1966 and then proceeded to carry out postgraduate research at Imperial College, London where he obtained a PhD in Physics. He then went as a postdoctoral student for a period to the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), returning later as a visiting professor. He has spent much of his career teaching and carrying out research in space physics. In 1971 he returned to Imperial College London, where he headed the Blackett Laboratory from 1994 until 1997.

Professor Southwood began working at ESA in 1977 as head of Earth observation strategy where he introduced The Living Planet programme. In 1999 he was appointed Regents Professor, first at UCLA and then at Imperial College, London.

He has chaired a number of committees associated with space science in Europe. These include head of the ESA Space Science Advisory Committee from 1990 to 1993 and head of the ESA Science Programme Committee from 1993 to 1996. He took up the post of Director of Science at ESA five years ago in May 2001.

He has published over 200 scientific papers and other articles, and has worked on a number of space missions, including heading the team that built the magnetometer onboard the NASA/ESA Cassini-Saturn orbiter, currently investigating the gas giant Saturn and its system of rings and satellites.

Tickets for the Public Lecture are free on application to the Armagh Observatory, Tel.: 028-3752-2928, e-mail: ambnarm.ac.uk.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: John McFarland at the Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG. Tel.: 028-3752-2928; FAX: 028-3752-7174; jmfarm.ac.uk

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Last Revised: 2006 April 24th
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