This year University of Edinburgh Christmas Lecture was given by the winner of the Tam Dalyell Prize 2010 - Professor Jose Torero. The lecture is entitled: Fire, A story of fascination, fear and familiarity.
The video is introduced by the following text:
The complex nature of fire - which can inspire familiarity or fear - is explored in this year's Christmas Lecture.
Professor Jose Torero, winner of the 2010 Tam Dalyell science prize, examines how fire can provide welcome warmth in everyday life but, on a bigger scale, the unpredictability of fire can be terrifying.
In the past three years, Professor Torero has given more that 60 talks in more than 20 countries to a diverse range of audiences.
The engineer and his team have also conducted extensive public engagement, including outreach associated with experiments to test fire safety technology at a high-rise building in Dalmarnock, Glasgow.
In his talk, Professor Torero discusses how humans have been fascinated with fire for millions of years. He contrasts the emotions associated with fire, depending on whether it is under control or not.
The yearly Tam Dalyell Prize for Excellence in Engaging the Public with Science recognises an individual or group's work in fields including hosting school visits, talks and other public events or through publishing and broadcasting.