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January 2015

Fiction Lab

12 January, 2015 @ 7:00 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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Free

Jennifer Rohn of Lablit.com hosts the monthly book club dedicated to great fiction books with a science theme. If you're an interested reader who has something to say, then come along.

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“Particle Fever” screening

13 January, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 9:45 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£12

Particle Fever: a film about the Large Hadron Collider, screened at the Royal Institution, followed by a talk by Dr Harry Cliff, particle physicist

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Good listeners and smooth talkers

20 January, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£12

Join researchers from seven European countries at the Royal Institution for talks and interactive demonstrations, exploring speech and communication

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Things to see and hear in the fourth dimension

27 January, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£12

Join stand-up mathematician Matt Parker on a journey through narcissistic numbers, at least two different kinds of infinity and more in this family-friendly event.

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Quantum biology: An introduction

28 January, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£12

In the first of three guest-curated events on Quantum Biology, Jim Al-Khalili invites Philip Ball to introduce how the mysteries of quantum theory might manifest themselves at the biological level.

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Revenge of the microbes (Friday Evening Discourse)

30 January, 2015 @ 7:50 pm - 9:15 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£17

Bacteria are our ancient enemies, evolving ever more clever ways of outmanoeuvring our natural defences and scientific technologies. For millennia, a simple cut or cough could kill. With the development of antibiotics, it seemed we would reign supreme. But now the bacteria are gaining ground.

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February 2015

Fiction Lab

9 February, 2015 @ 7:00 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
+ Google Map
Free

Jennifer Rohn of Lablit.com hosts the monthly book club dedicated to great fiction books with a science theme. If you're an interested reader who has something to say, then come along.

Find out more »

The oldest light in the universe

12 February, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£12

In the International Year of Light, join astrophysicist Roberto Trotta to discover what the oldest light in the cosmos, the luminous echo of the Big Bang itself, can tell us about the fundamental nature of the Universe

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Andrew Szydlo’s Blaze of Steel

17 February, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£12

Photo credit: Katherine McAlpine/Royal Institution After the storming success of his family-friendly talk at the Ri itself and online, Andrew Szydlo is back to take us through the fantastic world of steel and iron. Expect spectacular white hot reactions, wacky colour changes and chemical illusions in this demonstration-packed performance.

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Acoustics and Loudspeakers

18 February, 2015 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£8

Acoustics play an enormous role in our society and we are never far from an acoustic device. In this Family Masterclass with Jon Constable we will explore the concepts that underpin modern acoustics and even have a go at making and testing loudspeakers.

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Periodic Success

19 February, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£12

The periodic table has been an emblem of science for over 100 years. Explosions, poisonings, space exploration and novelty Victoria parlour games are all contained within the chemist's favourite poster.

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Family Fun Day: Sparks will fly

21 February, 2015 @ 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£12

Learn to hack your home and take control at this Family Fun Day with opportunities to play, create and transform things around you.

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Quantum biology: Does life depend on quantum mechanics?

24 February, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£12

Johnjoe McFadden and Hans Westerhoff will debate the merits of quantum biology and whether it has any significance to our world.

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March 2015

Birth of a Theorum

9 March, 2015 @ 7:00 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£8

What goes on inside the mind of a mathematician? Where does inspiration come from? Fields Medal winner Cédric Villani will combine passion and imagination to take us on a fantastical adventure through the beautiful, mysterious world of mathematics.

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The Anthropocene – the human epoch, and how it shapes our planet

11 March, 2015 @ 7:00 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£8

We live at a moment of deep change, between one geological time and another. We are moving from the Holocene to new era, the Anthropocene.

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Quantum biology: A Revolution in Science

17 March, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£8

To end Jim Al-Khalili’s series of guest-curated events, three researchers will explain how quantum theory is being applied to their own work in this cutting-edge field of scientific discovery.

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Dinosaurs, Epigenetics and the Higgs

23 March, 2015 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£20

The University of the Third Age once again teams up with the Ri for an afternoon of fascinating science talks.

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Convergence: Information, evolution, and intelligent design

25 March, 2015 @ 7:00 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£8

The concept of information is fundamental to all areas of science, and ubiquitous in daily life in the Internet Age. However, it is still not well understood despite being recognised for more than 40 years. In this talk, Daniel Dennett will explore steps towards a unified theory of information, through common threads in evolution, learning, and engineering.

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Telescopes of the future: Bringing the Universe into focus (Friday Evening Discourse)

27 March, 2015 @ 7:50 pm - 9:15 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£17

As our exploration of the cosmos continues apace, the observatories of the future, in space and on the ground, will cast light on some of the biggest scientific questions we face today: how the Universe came into being, how it evolved into its present state, and whether life could exist on other planets.

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May 2015

How to clone a mammoth: The science of de-extinction

21 May, 2015 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£8

Could extinct species, like mammoths and passenger pigeons, be brought back to life? Beth Shapiro, evolutionary biologist and pioneer in ancient DNA research, takes us through the astonishing and controversial process of de-extinction.

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Water: The strangest molecule in the Universe

28 May, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£8

Water is the most every day of substances, but on closer examination it also one of the strangest. To celebrate the launch of his latest book, Alok Jha will tell the story of this fascinating molecule which takes us back to the beginning of the Universe.

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June 2015

If you can spray phlogiston, is it real?

1 June, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£8

In the first of three guest-curated talks by Michela Massimi, Hasok Chang discusses how we should understand cases from the history of science in which scientists were confident that they were directly manipulating entities which modern science considers nonexistent. The chemistry of “phlogiston” from the 18th century provides an excellent example.

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Designing Nature

3 June, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£ (conc)

Biology appears to be less law-like than its sister sciences, but could we change this with design? Jane Calvert and Alistair Elfick discuss synthetic biology, an emergent discipline that aims to rationally design and fabricate biological devices; and how applying engineering principles to living systems might help us harness the power of the natural world. This is the final of three guest-curated talks by Michela Massimi.

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The Story of Life

11 June, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£8

How was the code of DNA cracked? How did it confirm the theory of evolution? And why did life evolve the way it did? To celebrate their ground-breaking new books, Matthew Cobb and Nick Lane will come together to unravel the tangled story of DNA and answer the vital question: why are we as we are, and why are we here at all?

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July 2015

How not to be wrong: The power of mathematical thinking

1 July, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£ (conc)

Maths touches everything we do, allowing us to see the hidden structures beneath the messy and chaotic surface of our daily lives. Maths is the a science of not being wrong, worked out through centuries of hard work and argument.

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A beautiful question: Finding nature’s deep design

6 July, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£12

Nobel laureate, Frank Wilczek’s groundbreaking work in quantum physics was inspired by his intuition to look for a deeper order of beauty in the universe, using simple questions in an attempt to see the whole answer. Wilczek explores how this quest has also guided the work of all great scientific thinkers in the Western world, from Plato to Einstein, and shows us just how deeply intertwined our ideas about perception, beauty and art are with our scientific understanding of the…

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Ri Lates: Life and death

10 July, 2015 @ 6:30 pm - 10:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£12

How did life first begin, and could it be found elsewhere in the Universe? What makes something alive and how does this change as we age? Explore these questions about life and death at our hands-on event throughout our building. Enjoy workshops, talks, food and drink at this sociable night for adults only. This event is for over-18s only. If you look younger than 21, you may be asked for ID at the door. Talks Astrobiology - the hunt for…

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Fiction Lab – July 2015

13 July, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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Free

Jennifer Rohn of Lablit.com hosts the monthly book club dedicated to great fiction books with a science theme. If you're an interested reader who has something to say, then come along. The format of Fiction Lab is simple. All you need to do is check this webpage for the book choice, read the book beforehand and then drop into the Ri to discuss it with other fiction lovers. Fiction Lab will be held in the Sunley Room this month. Admission…

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The Dark Universe

14 July, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£12

We now think the Universe is packed with invisible materials – dark matter and dark energy – pulling and pushing the parts that we see. Join BBC Stargazing Live and Sky at Night presenter, Lucie Green as she explores this frontier of understanding with Nobel laureate Adam Riess and other leading cosmologists. About the speakers Adam Riess is an astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins University and the Space Telescope Science Institute. Riess shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2011 for providing evidence that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating. More recently,…

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Go8Bit presents… WiFi wars (smartphone required)!

21 July, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£12

Go8Bit is a live comedy/videogaming phenomenon, appearing on Videogame Nation, the CHRISTMAS LECTURES and their own stage at Earls Court. Join Steve McNeil and Rob Sedgebeer as they present a humorous interactive introduction to the cutting-edge technology developed for their show. Bring a charged smartphone/tablet! About the speakers Steve McNeil and Rob Sedgebeer have come together to produceGo8Bit, combining Steve's comedic and creative ideas with Rob's knowledge and aptitude with coding and designing games. They have come to the Ri…

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Human Error

28 July, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£12

After a popular talk at the February Family Fun Day, Sarah Wiseman is back to give us a run down of human errors and how she works to eliminate them. Know that embarrassing feeling of waiting for an automatic door to open then realising you have to push a button? Ever noticed how confusing it is that calculators and phones have different keypads? Technology is speeding ahead but if we don’t know how to use it, or keep making mistakes,…

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To infinity and beyond: the story of the spacesuit

30 July, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£12

Planning a trip into space? Want to remain alive? You’ll need the right outfit. From the Apollo suits used to explore the moon, to astronaut Tim Peake’s Russian ‘Sokol’ spacesuit he’ll wear to blast off to the International Space Station, these iconic outfits are full of stories and surprises. Join television presenter Dallas CampbellPLUS an actual spacesuit, and special guests British astronaut Helen Sharman and the Science Museum’s Roger Highfield, to explore up close and personal the most epic item of…

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August 2015

Fiction Lab

10 August, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
+ Google Map
Free

Jennifer Rohn of Lablit.com hosts the monthly book club dedicated to great fiction books with a science theme. If you're an interested reader who has something to say, then come along. The format of Fiction Lab is simple. All you need to do is check this webpage for the book choice, read the book beforehand and then drop into the Ri to discuss it with other fiction lovers. This month's book: The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion Don Tillman, an Australian geneticist with…

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September 2015

The Sense of Style

3 September, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£12

Does writing well matter in an age of instant communication? Drawing on the latest research in linguistics and cognitive science, Steven Pinker will replace the recycled dogma of style guides with reason and evidence. He will argue that style still matters: in communicating effectively, in enhancing the spread of ideas, in earning a reader’s trust and, not least, in adding beauty to the world.

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Black Box Thinking

10 September, 2015 @ 7:00 am - 8:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£12

Using gripping case studies and practical takeaways, award-winning journalist and best-selling author of Bounce Matthew Syed will explain the science of success. He'll show how to turn failure into success, as well as the way that greatest scientists, business leaders and sports stars have all learned to love failure. Matthew Syed is a British journalist, broadcaster and author of Bounce, a book described as “a must-read for anyone interested in the science of success, and the mindset and culture that support it”. He…

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Good psychopath, really?

15 September, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£12

Several years ago, University of Oxford psychologist Kevin Dutton invited former SAS soldier Andy McNab into his lab to take a real-life version of Blade Runner’s Voight-Kampff ‘replicant’ test. The results were revelatory and from it the concept of ‘the good psychopath’ was born. Join them both to find out what happened next… Kevin Dutton is a research psychologist at the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford.He is particularly interested in psychopathic personality disorder and his research focuses on how certain functional psychopathic personality variables…

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Great Moments in Science

21 September, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£12

What makes you forget why you entered a room? Why does rum and diet cola get you more drunk than rum and regular cola? And why is it safer for a cat to fall from 32 stories than from seven? Join Dr Karl for a whirlwind tour of scientific explanations and bizarre facts explored. Find out how photos of eyes make you honest, why the phrase "sinister buttocks" gets into students' essays, and what the ‘big cover up' is on kissing. Dr…

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Friday Evening Discourse: Light and the Quantum

25 September, 2015 @ 7:50 pm - 9:15 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
+ Google Map
£17

The properties of light which could not be explained through classical physics helped to kick-start the quantum revolution. Soon after, strange quantum phenomena were described - state superpositions, entanglement and the realisation of "Schrödinger’s cat". In celebration of the International Year of Light, join Nobel Laureate Serge Haroche to explore these quantum phenomena, the role of light in an explosion of discovery and possible applications of the counter-intuitive quantum logic.

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October 2015

Fiction Lab

12 October, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
+ Google Map
Free

Jennifer Rohn of Lablit.com hosts the monthly book club dedicated to great fiction books with a science theme. The format of Fiction Lab is simple. All you need to do is check this webpage for the book choice, read the book beforehand and then drop into the Ri to discuss it with other fiction lovers. Fiction Lab will be held in the Ri Library this month. Admission is free and there is no need to book tickets in advance. This month's book…

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Synthetic life: how far could it go? How far should it go?

13 October, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
+ Google Map
£12

Synthetic biology is a new, intriguing technology that could have a huge impact on humans and our environment. A panel of experts, including Louise Horsfall, Paul Freemont and Robert Edwards and will outline the process of designing and building new life forms and discuss the ethical challenges we will face. What impact could synthetic biology have on everyday life, and how far could we, and should we, take this revolutionary science? This event is organised in partnership with the Royal Society of Biology and the Biochemical Society as part of Biology Week…

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The ocean debates

14 October, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£12

To celebrate the Royal Research Ship Discovery’s visit to the Thames, physicist and oceanographer Helen Czerski presents a night delving into the mysteries of the deep. It’s going to be a lively evening, with fascinating nuggets of real science brought out by suspiciously simple-sounding debates. We’ll have a variety of scientists and other ocean experts on tap, there to talk about what’s going on in the oceans, to discuss how it all links up around the back, and to defend their favourite piece of…

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Under the Sea

26 October, 2015 @ 6:00 am - 7:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£12

From shell-stealing octopuses to snails that suck sharks’ blood, molluscs are a weird bunch. Join marine biologist Helen Scales to find out how hermit crabs like to party and butterflies learnt to swim. This interactive talk dives into the spiralling world of seashells and the bizarre animals that make them.

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Portraits of photosynthesis: Meet the artist

28 October, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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Free

Join Odra Noel for a drink and discuss her new exhibition 'Portraits of photosynthesis', at this informal opening night in the Ri's Atrium. Enter the mysterious Euglena and the glorious blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), the hardy lichens in full bloom and the primordial purple bacteria, which first opened up the way. Take a look inside the photosynthetic cell, at the chloroplasts and mitochondria, catch a snapshot of these beautiful organelles where all the action takes place. Then dash down to the roots that ground the plants, making life on Earth (literally) possible.…

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Kitchen Chemistry

29 October, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£12

Stephen Ashworth will show how everyday items can be seen in a new light to illustrate the principles of chemistry. Find out how fruit tea, baking powder and a toaster are all connected in this energetic exploration of the chemicals that surround us.

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November 2015

Colour and cancer; Scorpions and surgery

17 November, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£12

Is it possible to light up a cancer cell in the brain? Could scorpion venom be the answer? Dr Jim Olson, Paediatric Haematology Oncology Specialist at Seattle Children's Hospital and a member of the Clinical Research Division at the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center, is developing a radical new technique in the field of fluorescent image-guided surgery, Tumor Paint, that has the potential to transform the way tumors are removed from the brain - by using a special paint the…

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What does science tell us about race and racism?

19 November, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£12

From Rachel Dolezal to the Charleston church shooting, the subject of race is never far from the headlines. Biological science tells us that ‘races’ may not even be real. but the social sciences tell us that racism certainly is. Can science help us make sense of these undeniably important yet emotive subjects? Writer and broadcaster Adam Rutherford will host a panel of experts including: Richard Crisp, Kenan Malik, Aoife McLysaght and Heidi Mirza for an evidence-based discussion of an always controversial subject.

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The Tsar’s Cup (Friday Evening Discourse)

27 November, 2015 @ 7:15 pm - 9:15 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£17

One of the last acts of Tsar Alexander I before his death in 1825 was to give Humphry Davy a silver-gilt cup — the Davy cup. It was a token of gratitude for Davy’s invention of the miners’ safety lamp ten years before. With appropriately explosive demonstrations, Frank James will showcase Davy’s experimental development of his lamp while reflecting on the relationship between science and the state symbolised by the Davy cup, a treasure from the Ri's Faraday Museum. Frank James is Professor of…

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December 2015

Fiction Lab

14 December, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
+ Google Map
Free

Jennifer Rohn of Lablit.com hosts the monthly book club dedicated to great fiction books with a science theme. If you're an interested reader who has something to say, then come along. The format of Fiction Lab is simple; read the book beforehand and then drop into the Ri to discuss it with other fiction lovers. Fiction Lab will be held in the Conversation Room this month. Admission is free and there is no need to book tickets in advance. This month's book…

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January 2016

Dark matter and dinosaurs: The astounding interconnectedness of the Universe

11 January, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4BS United Kingdom
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£10

66 million years ago, a ten-mile-wide object from outer space hurtled into the Earth at incredible speed and destroyed the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the other species on the planet. Where did it come from, and why? And how is this connected to dark matter – the most mysterious, elusive stuff in the Universe, that interacts with gravity like ordinary matter but doesn’t emit or absorb light? Astronomers know it’s there but it is literally invisible. Lisa Randall will…

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