The March Astronomy group meeting will be Monday 12th March at 2:00 pm at the Driftwood Spars Hotel, Trevaunance cove, St Agnes.

In January we welcomed six new members to the group.

In February we are looking at the ongoing search for signs of extraterrestrial life, particularly within the solar system.

Next month we will look at the way Earth was formed and the processes by which it has evolved through many changes, to its present form

Do join us.

John Baldock
(, 01872 554241)


Please note that the time and day of the meetings for 2018 has been changed to 10:45 on the second Thursday of month at the Victoria Inn, Threemilestone Coffee is available from 10.00 am.

Don’t believe everything that you are told by the food and drug industries. That was the essence of an informative talk by Roy Fisher, entitled “Heart Disease and the French Paradox” in February. This was held for the first time on a Thursday morning at the new venue of the Victoria Inn, Threemilestone. Moving away from Truro resulted in a record attendance of 54 members for a science meeting.
During his talk Roy referred to a 2017 major study across Europe which showed that, despite their higher consumption of fat, smoking more and having a higher percentage with high blood pressure, the French have much less cardiovascular disease(CVD) than in the UK.  As similar high fat intakes with low levels of CVD were found in Spain and Italy, the French paradox is a myth.  In 1965 Ancel Keys proposed his Diet-Heart Disease hypothesis, in which the level of saturated fat correlated with risk of CVD. However, accumulated evidence makes this no longer tenable and the subsequent dietary advice of eating a low fat diet from the 1980s was a big mistake. Also the concern about blood cholesterol has been overstated particularly for our age group. Reducing fat in the diet meant increasing carbohydrates and that has been a major factor contributing to our obesity epidemic, especially for those mainly eating processed food. The underlying cause of CVD is inflammation of the endothelial cells lining blood vessels due to smoking, hypertension, obesity, a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle.
A Mediterranean diet with lots of fish, fruit and vegetables, olive oil and nuts reduces CVD risk more than drugs. The benefits of regular moderate exercise are undervalued and should be promoted from childhood.
Many thanks to Anne Quick and Maureen Gilbert for contributing to this meeting report. 
On 8th March, Dr Paul Lucas will give a talk on “What Makes a Good Drug?”
Summary: What makes a good drug from the point of view of the pharmaceutical industry and the point of view of the patient? Starting with a review of the drug discovery and development process I'd like to expand on several important aspects including: 1:The rapid escalation of costs during the process, hence the need to eliminate unsuitable drug candidates early and why it does not favour e.g. new antibiotics. 2: Proof of efficacy with examples of late, and therefore very expensive, failures and assessing cost/benefit e.g. as cost per quality adjusted life year (QALY) gained by therapy in order to decide if a drug should be funded by the NHS. 3: What we do to drugs i.e. the absorption of the administered drug, it's distribution in the body once absorbed and its elimination from the body by chemical alteration (metabolism) and excretion. These processes (ADME) also, of course, apply to non-drug substances e.g. toxins that may enter the body. 
If you would like to give a talk on any science topic please contact me. 
Roy Fisher


For all activities, please check our Google Calendar to confirm dates, times and locations

Richard Allen Groups coordinator