June 19, 2024

I, Science

The science magazine of Imperial College

What a set of wonderful events this week! Look out especially for some of our very own Imperial staff speaking across London: from Human Love in the Age of AI, to What We Don’t Know About Gravity, this week is definitely making us think! Check out for Aliens in Science Fiction, grappling with our meat consumption, and, (why not?), let’s throw in a Greek play!

28th March: Ethical Matters: The Meat Paradox by Conway Hall Ethical Society | £5 – £8

Rob Percival, an expert in the politics of meat, searches for the evolutionary origins of the meat paradox, asking when our relationship with meat first became emotionally and ethically complicated. Every society must eat, and meat provides an important source of nutrients. But every society is moved by its empathy. We must all find a way of balancing competing and contradictory imperatives. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the origins of our empathy, the psychology of our dietary choices, and anyone who has wondered whether they should or shouldn’t eat meat.

7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Online and In-person

Conway Hall
25 Red Lion Square

28th March: Aliens in Science Fiction by Gresham College | Free

Science fiction’s most frequent alternative to human is ‘alien’, another rich imaginative resource with which to think about what makes us human. This lecture will include reflections on various aliens, from H.G. Wells Selenites, to Octavia Butler’s Oankali, the genetic traders who link the novels of her Xenogenesis trilogy who are imagined as both saving and enslaving humanity. Whether aliens are imagined as conquerors or saviours, their superiority has often been used to explore human limitations.

6:00pm – 7:00pm

Online or In person

Barnard’s Inn Hall

29th March: SCIENCE MUSEUM SPACE SEMINAR SERIES – History of Japan’s Space Policy and Programmes | Free

For each season we will invite scholars and representatives of the space sector—including astronauts, engineers and scientists—to discuss the history and current practice of space exploration as pursued in and perceived from the respective regions.

Dr Naoko Sugita (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA) 
Chair: Mr Doug Millard (Science Museum)

11:00am – 12:00pm GMT


29th March: Going Viral: An Environmental Activist’s Story by Gresham Lectures | Free

Dr Nathan Robinson’s video of him removing a plastic drinking straw from a sea turtle’s nose went viral in 2015. He has since been developing new ways of using technology to gain insights into the secret lives of marine creatures, including capturing the first footage of a live giant squid in US waters and mounting cameras on shells of sea turtles. This lecture will give a practical guide to building viral science stories to bring about environmental change.

6:00pm – 7:00pm

Online or In person

Barnard’s Inn Hall

30th March: Planetary Universe by Gresham College | Free

How can new worlds be discovered, and how many exo-planets might be out there? What does today’s technology in astronomical observatories now enable, and what is it that holds us back from finding what is actually out there? What hinders us from pushing forwards the frontiers of space science?

6:00pm – 7:00pm

Online or In person

Museum of London
150 London Wall,

30th March: The future of human love in the age of AI by The Royal Institution | £7 – £16

How is artificial intelligence and robotics transforming the future of love and desire?

Join Aifric CampbellKanta DihalJoanna Bryson, to explore what’s at stake in our human machine relationships.

Chaired by Philip Ball, this cross disciplinary panel blends storytelling with science communication to unpick the challenges and opportunities of emergent technologies and how we want to live.

Some of you may already know Aifric Campbell as she teaches at our very own Imperial!

7:00pm – 8:30pm

In person

The Royal Institution
21 Albemarle St,

30th March: The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Panel Discussion by the Science Museum | £10

A modern re-telling of Euripides’ Iphigenia at Aulis, this sensational thriller brims with unsettling humour and creeping dread. 
The screening is accompanied by a discussion between a panel of renowned classicists who will discuss the importance of mythology to Ancient Greek culture, and its influence on storytelling to the present day. 
Speakers include:

  • Robin Lane Fox—Renowned historian and author, currently a Fellow of New College, Oxford, and University Reader in Ancient History. Fox is the author of numerous books and was the historical consultant for Oliver Stone’s epic film Alexander. His book on Homer’s Iliad will be published next May.
  • Despina Ignatiadou—Head Curator, Sculpture Collection, National Archaeological Museum, Athens(joining via video link)
  • Tobi Kyeremateng FRSA (Chair)—Multi-award-winning producer, writer and filmmaker from South London. Her work uses a community-centred interdisciplinary practice to share, reframe and archive cultures through film, essays, and liveness

7:30pm – 10:00pm

In person

IMAX, Science Museum
Exhibition Rd,
South Kensington,

30th March: Sharing Data Better: The Rise of Data Institutions by the Open Data Institute | Free

Access to data is vital in tackling the big challenges we face – from the earlier discovery and treatment of disease, to reducing pollution in urban spaces. Data also has an important role to play in driving economic growth and recovery by supporting the creation of new technologies, products and services.

Responsible, trustworthy access to data doesn’t happen automatically. It is the result of people making decisions about who has access, for what purposes and to whose benefit. At the ODI, we recognise data institutions as organisations who collect, maintain and share – or steward – data towards public, educational or charitable aims.

2:00pm – 6:00pm

Interactive Online

31st March: What We Don’t Know About Gravity by New Scientist | £15 – £80

We are all familiar with the concept of gravity, from the force that keeps us firmly on the ground, to the phenomenon that explains the orbits of the planets in the Solar System and the whole structure of our Universe. But what exactly is gravity? Is it a force? Is it the manifestation of the Curvature of spacetime?

In this talk, Professor Claudia de Rham will explore how much we actually know about gravity and how much more there is left to uncover.

Another amazing speaker from Imperial College London where de Rham is a professor of Physics!

6:00pm – 7:00pm


Until 29th August: Rooted Beings Exhibition by the Wellcome Collection | Free

‘Rooted Beings’ invites you to embark on a meditative reflection on the world of plants and fungi. The exhibition considers what we might learn from plant behaviour, and the impacts of colonial expeditions on the exploitation of natural resources and indigenous knowledges.  
You’ll see botanical archives from Wellcome Collection and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew displayed alongside works by artists Gözde İlkin, Ingela Ihrman and Joseca, with new commissions by Patricia Domínguez, Eduardo Navarro, RESOLVE Collective and Sop.
Plants sustain life on earth. They are sensitive, complex and interconnected beings, playing surprisingly active roles in ecosystems and human societies. ‘Rooted Beings’ asks if we can become more rooted, attentive, flexible and caring – and attain vegetal enlightenment.

In person

Wellcome Collection
183 Euston Rd,

Until 15th July: Outwitting Cancer Exhibition by Francis Crick Institute | Free

Why doesn’t cancer play by the rules, and who are the people trying to outsmart these rebel cells? Meet the Crick’s trailblazing scientists who are helping to turn the tide on one of the world’s biggest killers.

In person

The Francis Crick Institute
1 Midland Road
London NW1 1AT

Sofia Hurst is the Deputy News Editor for I,Science and is studying an MSc in Science Communications at Imperial College London