The Culham Top-Tech Challenge


Oxfordshire's citizens went to the polls in August at the request of UKAEA Culham Science Centre. Asked to pick their top 10 technologies they "Couldn't Be Without" in an on-line poll, they chose the CAR as their "top tech"; the radio was their second favourite, followed by spectacles/contact lenses.

"The poll threw up some interesting results" said Chris Warrick, Education Outreach Manager at Culham. "The results confirm society's continuing dependence on the car and the absence of the mobile phone in the top ten maybe shows that life before its widespread use was not as chaotic as we thought!"

As a prize for voting, three lucky entrants each win a wind-up radio personally signed by their inventor Trevor Baylis. They are: Anita Rowlands, Martin Audley and Richard Gartner.

The top ten technologies will be investigated by ten secondary schools taking part in a European Science Week quiz on 8 November at Culham Science Centre. A panel of eminent judges chosen from science, education and the media will hear their presentations and the winning team will be whisked off to visit the European Space Agency in the Netherlands.

The Top Ten Technologies were: 1 Car; 2 Radio; 3 Spectacles/contact lenses; 4 Refrigerator; 5 Washing Machine; 6 Internet/e-mail; 7 TV; 8 Antibiotics; 9 Cooker; 10 Personal Computer

Couldn't Be Without It! A Europe-wide poll called is being carried out now on-line at The November event at Culham Science Centre will be linked up to a live webcast from CERN. This is an initiative of EIROFORUM, a collaboration of seven cutting edge research organisations in Europe.

EIROFORUM Since the early 1950s, a number of powerful research infrastructures and laboratories which are used by an extensive network of scientists have been developed and deployed within Europe by European Intergovernmental Research Organisations (EIRO). Together, they represent European spearheads in some of the most crucial basic and applied research fields.

Seven of these organisations have set up a co-ordination and collaboration group (EIROFORUM) with their top executives (Directors General or equivalent) as members. They include CERN (particle physics), EMBL (molecular biology), ESA (space activities), ESO (astronomy and astrophysics), ESRF (synchrotron radiation), ILL (neutron source) and EFDA (fusion).

EFDA The European Fusion Development Agreement co-ordinates the European programme which aims to develop magnetic confinement fusion as a new, clean source of safe and environmentally friendly energy. The flagship of this programme is JET, the world's largest and most powerful nuclear fusion research facility and the only machine capable of operating with the fuel mixture that will be used in a commercial fusion power station. EFDA-JET is operated by the UK Atomic Energy Authority at its Culham site in South Oxfordshire.

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