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Have you ever wondered how and why are there are so many languages? Or what the future holds? Find out more at Science Exchange Wallingford’s next meeting on Monday May 21 at 8 pm at the Corn Exchange in Wallingford.

According to Mark Pagel of the Reading University Evolutionary Biology Group, there are about 7000 mutually unintelligible languages spoken on Earth. This gives humans the dubious distinction of being perhaps the only species whose members cannot all communicate with each other.

‘Forked tongues: the evolution of human languages’ is the title of the session to be led by Professor Pagel. He will discuss recent work showing the importance of human language in establishing and maintaining cultural identities as well as communication.

Professor Pagel has just published his latest book: Wired for Culture: the natural history of cultural cooperation and has had a variety of recent media appearances on programmes such as Radio 4’s Start the Week.

Science Exchange Wallingford is part of the Café Scientifique network The support of local company Triaster, the Corn Exchange and the generosity of speakers means that each event is free to attend. However, it is best to arrive early to be sure of a seat as places are limited.

Coming next at Science Exchange:

Monday 2nd July 2012

Charles Simpson, Oxford Brookes University: ‘Winning at the Olympics: how research into human physiology helps to deliver gold!’

What does an elite athlete need to be able to perform to the best of their ability? How can the science of Human Physiology be used to support the quest for a gold medal and does this research have benefits for the rest of us?

Charlie Simpson's research and teaching in Sport and Exercise Science is complemented by his practical experience as an elite rowing coach. He will use his knowledge and experience to discuss these and other questions relating to how an understanding of human physiology can support the development of successful athletes.

Dr Simpson has a special interest in sports drinks, hydration and exercise performance. He is currently researching rowing performance and his new book, 'The Complete Guide to Indoor Rowing’ will be published this year.

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