The hunt for the Loch Ness Monster - valid scientific research or a fool's errand?

The hunt for the Loch Ness Monster - valid scientific research or a fool's errand?

Is the hunt for Nessie futile or a project that should be embraced by science?

The scientific value of cryptozoology, the hunt for mythical creatures, will be debated at a free event in Inverness this week.

Dr Charles Paxton, a statistical ecologist from the University of St Andrews School of Mathematics and Statistics will discuss his research into yet to be discovered aquatic creatures on Tuesday (July 15) at 7pm in Waterstones in the city’s Eastgate Shopping Centre.

The event launches the second series of Café Scientifique in Inverness which will engage the public with topics across the scientific spectrum once a month until October.  

Dr Paxton said: “In this talk I will address the question, how many unknown aquatic animals await discovery by science? 

“I will also challenge the audience to think about whether cryptozoology is a science and how hunting for Nessie, or more precisely analysing Nessie reports, can be good science.”  

Other topics set to be covered in the Café Scientifique series include the possibility of artificial intelligence, the importance and relevance of Scottish fossils and the relationship between happiness and longevity. All events are free to attend.

Dr Heather Doran from the University's Public Engagement with Research Unit said: “The Café Scientifique series allows the public to gain insight and understanding from scientific researchers in a way that is informal and engaging. 

“The topics covered showcase the vast range of compelling and often cutting-edge scientific findings being developed by experts from the University of Aberdeen and other academic institutions in Scotland.”

The series is a partnership between the University of Aberdeen and the University of the Highlands and Islands, supported by the Scottish Government bringing an exciting range of topical subjects and research areas to people from an even wider geographical area.

For more information on the Café Scientifique Inverness series’ and other Café series in Aberdeen visit www.engagingaberdeen.co.uk .

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