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Celebrating ERC funded research

Ten years ago the European Commission established the European Research Council (ERC) with the mission to encourage excellent frontier research in Europe and to support top researchers across all fields and of any nationality. In these ten years, the ERC has funded almost 7,000 researchers with only scientific excellence as its only selection criteria.  

To celebrate the 10th Anniversary 'ERC Week' will take place from 13- 19 March with special ERC events taking place across Europe. The University of Cambridge is delighted to be part of this event, showcasing ERC funded research at a series of public events as part of Cambridge Science Festival.

Events include:

Tuesday 14 March

Our daily bread: what are we eating
Bread is a staple food that has been eaten around the world throughout recorded history. Modern ingredients and methods of mass production have completely tranformed it. What are we eating now and how has it changed over time?
Professor Martin Jones, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology
With Cambridge Global Food Security initiative, CambPlants Hub and Cambridge Forum for Sustainability and the Environment.

Sensing the season
Plants make key decisions such as when to grow and flower based in part on seasonal changes such as temperature and day length. But how do they measure the world around themselves to know when the time is right?
Dr Phil Wigge, Sainsbury Laboratory

Thursday 16 March

Inglorious fruit and veg
Around 40% of all edible fruit and veg intended for human consumption is wasted in the UK because supermarkets reject it for being ugly. But what’s wrong with a crooked carrot or a nobbly parsnip?
Professor Martin Jones, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology
With Cambridge Global Food Security initiative, CambPlants Hub and Cambridge Forum for Sustainability and the Environment.

Celebration of ten years of archaeology, anthropology and classics projects
The McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research hosts an event featuring many of the projects closely connected with Cambridge in the fields of Anthropology, Archaeology and Classics. The projects range across the full extent of human existence, both in time and space.
Professor Graeme Barker, Dr Paolo Heywood, Dr Margarita Gleba, Professor Martin Jones, Mr Scott Mandelbrote, Dr Marta Mirazón Lahr, Dr Yael Navaro, Dr Hector Orengo, Professor Janice Stargardt, Dr Phillipa Steele, Dr Simon Stoddart, Professor Nicholas Thomas, Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill
McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

Friday 17 March

Erebus volcano: in the footsteps of Shackleton and Scott
Discover what has been learned about how volcanoes work from detailed observations of the southernmost active volcano in the world, Mount Erebus. Shackleton and Scott's pioneering studies of the volcano paved the way for all subsequent investigations, and the traces they left provide a tangible link between past and present scientific endeavours.
Professor Clive Oppenheimer, Department of Geography

Friday 24 March

Gaia's first data release: the galactic census begins
The Gaia satellite will provide the first 6-Dimensional census of the Milky Way using a billion-pixel video camera. It will determine the basic astrophysical properties for one billion stars, it will test General Relativity, and it will provide the first robust distance scale in cosmology.
Professor Gerry Gilmore, Institute of Astronomy

Saturday 25 March and Sunday 26 March

Discovering humanity through human evolutionary studies
Investigate the origins and diversity of Homo sapiens within Africa. including the earliest evidence of inter-group conflict, dated 10,000 years ago on the shores of Lake Turkana and discover how they impact our understanding of human origins.
Dr Marta Mirazon Lahr, Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies