THE first Science Café of 2023 takes place at Otley Courthouse on Friday (March 17) starting at 7.30pm (tickets £6/ free for students).

The event will see three speakers given a quarter of an hour to talk and then the audience takes over to ask questions.

This month's speakers are:

Professor Iqbal Mujtaba, University of Bradford: ‘Water, water everywhere, not any drop to drink’

Prof Mujtaba said: "About 71 percent of the Earth's surface is water but 97% of the planet's water is salty and undrinkable. Currently the demand for freshwater is increasing by 64 billion cubic meters a year while the world’s population is growing by roughly 80 million each year and there is not enough freshwater. Water is, therefore, one of the global challenges and is everybody’s business. This talk will highlight social and technological perspective around water."

Dr Cassandra Raby, University of Leeds: Should we give a monkey’s about pathogens?

Dr Raby said: "What do we share with monkeys? Genetics? Behaviour? What about diseases? Observing wild baboons has helped researchers to understand who we are and why we behave the way we do. However, in a time when emerging diseases pose a risk to both human health and ape conservation, can baboons also help us to understand these threats? Join me as I describe living with wild baboons to observe their friendships, health, and habits."

Dr Adrian Barker, University of Leeds: Tidal forces on alien worlds

Dr Barker said: "Since the detection of the first planet around another Sun-like star was first announced in 1995, astronomers have detected more than 5000 extrasolar planets. These have a diverse range of properties, and many are observed to orbit their stars much more closely than Mercury orbits our Sun. A particularly interesting class of planets are Hot Jupiters, which are as massive as Jupiter (the most massive planet in our solar system), but which orbit their stars very closely meaning they complete an orbit in less than 10 Earth days. At such short distances, gravitational tidal forces can affect the orbit of the planet and the rotation of the star. In this talk I will present the methods astronomers use to detect extrasolar planets, review some of their fascinating properties, and finally describe the role of tidal forces in determining the ultimate fates of close-in planets."

To book tickets visit, call the box office on 01943 467466 or visit the Courthouse on Courthouse Street, Otley, LS21 3AN