Royal Society: Uncertainty in Weather and Climate Prediction

Posted: October 6, 2012 by tallbloke in climate, Photography, Travel, weather

I’ve been away for a few days as an invited participant at The Royal Society’s 2012 meeting on ‘Handling Uncertainty in Weather and Climate Prediction, With Application to Health, Agronomy, Hydrology, Energy and Economics’, organised by Prof. Tim Palmer. Unlike the 2010 meeting, this wasn’t held at The Royal Society’s London HQ, but at Chicheley Hall, in the Buckinghamshire countryside near Milton Keynes.

It was a wide ranging, detailed and very interesting meeting, with some 20 speakers (Audio here) and 70 or so more participants, and doing justice to the occasion is going to require several posts. To Set the scene, I’ll start with a few photos I took around the venue and some description gleaned mostly from the Royal Society fellow-in-residence, lucky man.

Chicheley Hall owned and restored by the Royal Society since 2009

The hall was completed in 1723 by the Chester family, who owned it until the middle of the C20th when it was sold to 2nd Earl Beatty (b. 1905, son of the famous World War I admiral). The Royal Society acquired it in 2009 and commenced refurbishment and alteration. The 75 acres surrounding the house contain the gardens, parkland and interesting corners for inquisitive visitors to discover.

The old moat surrounded the original house, and was remodelled later. the new Hall is behind the giant Larch tree (no bristlecones here).

The dovecot in front of the main house is a fine example of C18th brick and timberwork, and housed several thousand birds, a ready source of protein for the residents in years when crop failures occurred.

The circular dovecot, with its rotating ladder system. An idea has been mooted to turn it into a mausoleum to house Royal Society member’s ashes.

The stable block has a splendid glass conservatory extension and has become the conference centre. Here, Jeremy Hess explains the niceties of traversing the Indian bureaucracy when doing health research.

Jeremy Hess discusses often misdiagnosed heatstroke in India.

I have to cook dinner. I’ll put up more posts about the meeting and the individual scientific discussions over the next few days. This evening, I have a huge post about the head of the MET office to write. Stay tuned.

Meantime, if you are interested, the full history of Chicheley Hall can be found in this Royal Society article.

  1. Bob Tisdale says:

    But you’ve left a big question, tallbloke. What did you make for dinner?

  2. tallbloke says:

    Curried lamb and skewered MET CEO.

  3. Seems like a waste of money for the privileged few. I bet the cost of maintenance is more than the revenue. I recall that Blue Circle Plc bought a mansion out beyond Reading for supposedly head office and accommodation of visitors then sold their head quarters “Portland House” near Victoria Station. Big mistake! the mansion, grounds etc upkeep was more than anticipated, few wanted to move to the country, travel to London & airports too long etc so they sold it at a loss after a few years. Blue Circle has been taken over by Lafarge. Incompetents let an organization, started around 1880,and spreading around the world with investments, die. Britain used to export cement now they import at least a third of cement consumed.
    The Royal Society has a long history of scientific excellence but it is now run by incompetents and political nobodies.

  4. tallbloke says:

    Hi CF: You may turn out to be right, time will tell. In the meantime, it’s a beautiful place to hold a scientific meeting, away from the hustle and bustle and distractions of London. And of course, there is science happening further north, and I for one am grateful for not having to travel into London to discuss it. The fellow in residence said (somewhat tongue in cheek), that the new centre’s location was chosen not only for the serene setting, but because it was equidistant between Oxford and Cambridge, and the London HQ.

    For me, it was a surprisingly easy journey to get there. An hour on the train to Manchester, another hour and a half down to Milton Keynes, and a 25 minute bus ride to Newport Pagnell where I lodged at ‘The Swan Revived’ during the meeting. From there, it was a thirty five minute walk to Chicheley Hall through pleasant countryside.

  5. omnologos says:

    How could I get that “how to navigate” slide?

  6. […] Comments omnologos on Royal Society: Uncertainty in …tallbloke on Royal Society: Uncertainty in …Brian H on Michele Casati: Can anyone […]

  7. tallbloke says:

    Maurizio: I’ve emailed you a full res crop and Jeremy’s email address.

  8. […] and write it up for the talkshop. We could then compare and contrast the tenor and tone with the proceedings of the workshop run by Tim Palmer that I attended last year at Chicheley Hall, where Judith Curry told the […]