Sep
4
Mon
God is asleep – myths and legends of Transylvania
Sep 4 @ 7:30 pm
God is asleep - myths and legends of Transylvania @ The Monarch | England | United Kingdom

Transylvania is a byword for vampires and gypsy magic – but there is so much more strangeness that makes Dracula look pretty tame.

Lore is passed on through fireside tales of demons, underworlds and wicked spirits that exist alongside humans, of a creator God who has long abandoned his world. Magical practices are common in the villages and small towns spotted throughout the mountains.
Transylvania has long been a place of conflict, of cultural clashes and invasion. Within this unique European pressure cooker of faith and war, supernatural beliefs took hold in everyday life. The magical practices of actual Transylvanians from the beginning of the last century up to the present day were about giving reason to a violent world, a way of gaining some agency in the chaos.

William Hunter talks about why magic is needed, on what basis it is done, and some of the techniques he has seen performed.

He was raised in the Carpathian mountains of Transylvania and spent most of his childhood with monks, fortune tellers and very tall trees. SInce then he has travelled throughout Europe exploring surviving or reimagined native beliefs, partaking in Fire festivals and fertility rites from Scotland to Albania.

My Life with the Alpine Time Travellers
Sep 4 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
My Life with the Alpine Time Travellers @ Conway Hall | England | United Kingdom

In 2006 David Bramwell went to visit a community called Damanhur, living in the Italian Alps. It was to be the first of many visits and the start of a lifelong fascination with the place.

Damanhur, a 600-strong community, had built the world’s most extraordinary piece of outsider art: an underground temple the size of St Paul’s Cathedral, one of the great architectural wonders of the modern world. The Damanhurians also named themselves after plants and animals, claimed to have taught a rubber plant how to sing and even built a fully-functioning ‘time machine’. Another case of a deluded cult? David didn’t think so.

After many visits (and a Radio 3 documentary), David finally thinks he’s figured Damanhur out. He believes that the Damanhurians have created something important and essential in the 21st century. And the time machine is only a tiny part of it.

What links this extraordinary community with the jazz musician Sun Ra? Is the time machine real? Who is Gorilla Eucalyptus? To find out, come to this talk, complete with astonishing images of the Temples of Humankind, singing plants and of course the community’s time machine.

David Bramwell is a co-author of The Odditorium: The tricksters, eccentrics, deviants and inventors whose obsessions changed the world, and author of two travel memoirs: The No9 Bus to Utopia and The Haunted Moustache. He has toured the UK with two award-winning one-man shows, made radio programmes for the BBC on themes ranging from Ivor Cutler to river goddesses with Alan Moore, and won a Sony Award for ‘best feature’ in 2012.

Sep
6
Wed
Methods from madness: Magic, ghosts, and the origins of experimental psychology
Sep 6 @ 7:30 pm

On Sunday the 18th of November 1877, at 3pm in the afternoon, Wilhelm Wundt, sometimes identified as the ‘Founder of Experimental Psychology,’ joined hands with a group of academics and bore witness to series of ‘miracles’ in the presence of a visiting American spirit medium. Wundt was unconvinced by what he saw. However, a number of his esteemed colleagues, including world-renowned physicists Gustav Fechner, Wilhelm Weber, and Johann Zöllner, believed that the events they witnessed called for a complete revision of the fundamental laws of physics – a revision that could accommodate immortal fourth-dimensional spirit people. The resulting debate was not itself immortalized in any mainstream psychology text books, but, arguably, it did play a fundamental role in the subsequent emergence of Experimental Psychology as a formal scientific discipline. My talk will examine this debate, briefly surveying the historical context leading up to events, and analyzing the arguments of the various key players, before considering the consequences and their lasting impacts on psychology and science in general.

Matt Tompkins is a psychologist and a semi-professional magician. He is currently completing a doctoral thesis at the University of Oxford on the relationships between perception, attention, and sleight-of-hand illusions. His most recent paper was published in Frontiers in Psychology, and his research has been featured in the Washington Post and BBC Future.

Sep
8
Fri
Is open data and journalism a match doomed to fail?
Sep 8 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Is open data and journalism a match doomed to fail? @ Open Data Institute | England | United Kingdom

Friday lunchtime lectures are for everyone and are free to attend. You bring your lunch, we provide tea and coffee, an interesting talk, and enough time to get back to your desk.

Journalists have been slow to approach open data as a source of information, often relying on traditional approaches such as Freedom of Information requests.

In 2015, Jonathan Stoneman wrote a working paper “Does Open Data Need Journalism?” to show how things were slowly changing. With projects such as OpenCorporates and OpenPrescribing, access to data for journalists was becoming easier than ever.

But is it enough? And have there been too many missed opportunities for open data and journalism to truly live happily ever after?

About the speaker

Jonathan Stoneman is an ODI Registered Trainer, specialising in data journalism. He was a BBC journalist for 20 years, culminating as Head of World Service Training. Data work is the element of his freelance work which he enjoys most: he has delivered training to more than 600 BBC journalists, and likes nothing more than to curl up on his sofa with a good dataset!

Sep
11
Mon
Mapping the heavens: Radical scientific ideas that reveal the cosmos
Sep 11 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Mapping the heavens: Radical scientific ideas that reveal the cosmos @ The Royal Institution | England | United Kingdom

Advances in cosmology have led to the discovery of dark matter and dark energy, mysterious forces that shape our Universe. But how do you map what you cannot see? Join astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan at the Royal Institution as she guides you through the biggest questions in modern astrophysics and their surprising answers. She will take us on a journey through some of the radical scientific ideas that shape our current cosmic view.

Discounted tickets are available to Members of the Ri. Find out more about how to join our community.

The doors will open at approximately 6:30pm, with a prompt start at 7:00pm. There will be time for questions after the talk. Latecomers will be admitted to the gallery.

By booking to attend events at the Royal Institution, you confirm that you have read and agree to the Ri’s event terms and conditions.

Event image by Nasa

Plato’s Cosmic Ecology – a short exploration of the Timaeus
Sep 11 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Plato's Cosmic Ecology - a short exploration of the Timaeus @ Cecil Sharp House | England | United Kingdom

Plato’s Cosmic Ecology – a short exploration of the Timaeus, with Tim Addey of the Prometheus Trust

In Plato’s Timaeus the physical universe is presented as full of life and intelligence, of which humankind is merely a part. It is also described as being beautiful, purposeful and divine – a “happy god” – so that both the earth and the heavens are seen as an harmonious whole: a worldview worth exploring. We will read extracts from the dialogue and, we hope, be inspired to reach into the depths of this beautiful vision so very different from the mechanical worldview embraced by much of the modern world. Plato’s understanding of the manifested universe may offer humankind the best foundation for a genuinely ecological life in which we discover a harmony between with nature and ourselves.

No previous experience of formal philosophy is required.

Entrance in free, but donations between £3-5 will be welcomed.

A PDF download of the extract we will be reading is available on our website together with further details of this and other Prometheus Trust’s activities: www.prometheustrust.co.uk (the PDF is on the “London Monday Evenings” page.)

Sep
13
Wed
Operating at the boundaries: The art of applying science in elite sport w/ @quantumblack
Sep 13 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Operating at the boundaries: The art of applying science in elite sport w/ @quantumblack @ The Royal Institution | England | United Kingdom

Ever wondered what Olympians and Formula One drivers have in common or how science improves performance? Find the answers to these and other fascinating questions at the fourth event at the Royal Institution in the ‘Operating at the boundaries’ series, supported by QuantumBlack.

Discounted tickets are available to Members of the Ri. Find out more about how to join our community.

The doors will open at approximately 6:30pm, with a prompt start at 7:00pm. There will be time for questions after the talk. Latecomers will be admitted to the gallery.

By booking to attend events at the Royal Institution, you confirm that you have read and agree to the Ri’s event terms and conditions.

Event image by Olaf Kosinsky via Wikimedia and Craig Lowdnes via Flickr

Watling Street: Travels Through Britain and Its Ever-Present Past
Sep 13 @ 7:30 pm
Watling Street: Travels Through Britain and Its Ever-Present Past @ Conway Hall | England | United Kingdom

Long ago a path was created by the passage of feet tramping through endless forests. Gradually that path became a track, and the track became a road. It connected the White Cliffs of Dover to the Druid groves of the Welsh island of Anglesey, across a land that was first called Albion then Britain, Mercia and eventually England and Wales.

Armies from Rome arrived and straightened this 444 kilometres of meandering track, which in the Dark Ages gained the name Watling Street. Today, this ancient road goes by many different names: the A2, the A5 and the M6 Toll. It is a palimpsest that is always being rewritten.

The myriad people who use this road every day might think it unremarkable, but, as John Higgs shows, it hides its secrets in plain sight. Watling Street is not just the story of a route across our island, but an acutely observed, unexpected exploration of Britain and who we are today, told with wit and flair, and an unerring eye for the curious and surprising.

Watling Street is a road of witches and ghosts, of queens and highwaymen, of history and myth, of Chaucer, Dickens and James Bond. Along this route Boudicca met her end, the Battle of Bosworth changed royal history, Bletchley Park code breakers cracked Nazi transmissions and Capability Brown remodelled the English landscape.

John is a writer who specialises in finding previously unsuspected narratives, hidden in obscure corners of our history and culture, which can change the way we see the world. His aim is to write “Like Bill Bryson with a more adventurous sense of what is interesting.”

Sep
14
Thu
Science 2.0
Sep 14 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Science 2.0 @ Digital Science - The Stables | England | United Kingdom

Join us at Digital Science, where we tackle the ways people actually do science! Whether it’s through automation, digitisation, via the wisdom of the crowd, or through utilising maker culture, the face of science is rapidly changing. We’ll be diving into all of this with our wonderful panel….and of course anything else you want to add in our Q&A panel!

Our speakers so far include:

Dr Martin Jones:
Martin is the Deputy Head of Microscopy Prototyping at the Francis Crick Institute in London. Martin started out as an experimental physicist, however eventually found himself in biological research at Cancer Research UK. He develops new hardware and software that allows researchers acquire, process, and analyse image data.

Sep
20
Wed
Good King John? w/@Longshanks1307
Sep 20 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Good King John? w/@Longshanks1307 @ Morley College | England | United Kingdom

Our oldest tradition dates all the way back to when we were first founded. Listen to a lecture on an interesting and unusual topic, delivered by an expert, for just a penny.

King John is familiar to everyone as the villain from the tales of Robin Hood — greedy, cowardly, despicable and cruel. But who was the man behind the legend? Was he truly a monster, or a capable ruler cursed by ill luck? In this talk Marc Morris examines John’s career and character, and assesses the king’s actions against the standards of his own age.

Sep
21
Thu
PANEL: Design as a Force for Social Change (London Design Festival 2017)
Sep 21 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Women’s March 2017

Can design change the world? Should it? This timely event, chaired by Catherine Flood, curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum, brings together Bloomsbury authors Dr Catharine Rossi, Professor Alan Male and Dr Russell Bestley to debate design’s potential to change the world for good (or evil), and the responsibility of designers, both professional and amateur, to use their creative powers for positive ends.

Chair and Panellists:

  • Catherine Flood, Curator, Prints, Word & Image Department, Victoria & Albert Museum
  • Dr. Catharine Rossi, Senior Lecturer in Design History, Kingston School of Art, Kingston University
  • Professor Alan Male, Emeritus Professor of Illustration
  • Dr. Russell Bestley, Principal Lecturer at London College of Communication and Reader in Graphic Design

This event is hosted at Bloomsbury Publishing in central London as an official partner of the London Design Festival 2017.

Sep
23
Sat
Who Needs the Old Testament?
Sep 23 @ 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm

The Old Testament is a library of varied, sometimes difficult, always fascinating books. And yet the ‘God of the Old Testament’ is often seen as violent, angry and monochrome, at odds with the ‘Christian God’. Katharine Dell invites us to discover the Old Testament as essential to 21st Century Christian life and thought, not passing over its difficulties, but offering a more nuanced understanding of the many types of literature it contains and of the developing vision of God to which it witnesses. Starting from the New Atheists’ attacks on the Old Testament, we will explore some of the more difficult texts and others that are more familiar and palatable in a Christian context.

Dr Katharine Dell is Reader in Old Testament Literature and Theology at the University of Cambridge. She is a world expert in the Old Testament’s Wisdom Literature, and her publications include popular and academic books including Ethical and Unethical in the Old Testament (T&T Clark 2010), and Who Needs the Old Testament: Its Enduring Appeal and Why the New Atheists Don’t Get It (SPCK 2017).

Sep
25
Mon
Why we sleep w/ @sleepdiplomat
Sep 25 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Why we sleep w/ @sleepdiplomat @ The Royal Institution | England | United Kingdom

Sleep scientist Matt Walker is on a mission to shift our values and habits around sleep; to recognise that sleep is the single most effective thing we can do for our health, wealth and wellbeing. The World Health Authority has declared a sleep loss epidemic throughout industrialised nations. The research is recent. The studies are new. Combining two decades of new science with stunning storytelling, Walker will show why we can no longer afford to neglect and abuse it.

The consequences of a short night are shocking. Routinely sleeping less than 6 or 7 hours a night is demolishing our immune systems, doubling our risk of cancer, is a marker for Alzheimer’s, affects our psychological wellbeing, reproductive health, capacity for work, memory and creativity. Yet 39% of Brits sleep on average less than 7 hours a night and the number getting just 5-6 hours has risen dramatically in the last decade.

Discounted tickets are available to Members of the Ri. Find out more about how to join our community.

The doors will open at approximately 6:30pm, with a prompt start at 7:00pm. There will be time for questions after the talk. Latecomers will be admitted to the gallery.

By booking to attend events at the Royal Institution, you confirm that you have read and agree to the Ri’s event terms and conditions.

Event image Public Domain / Vera Kratochvil

Introducing Iamblichus – Philosophy and Theurgy
Sep 25 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Introducing Iamblichus - Philosophy and Theurgy @ Cecil Sharp House | England | United Kingdom

Iamblichus – Philosophy and Theurgy

A talk by Dr Crystal Addey

The long Platonic tradition of the ancient world was much more than just Socrates, Plato and Aristotle – many men and women fed the flame which warmed the heart of the tradition. One of the most significant of this line of philosopher-sages was Iamblichus (c. 240-325 CE) who studied in the school of Plotinus and Porphyry: his remarkable contribution to the tradition was to harmonize Platonic philosophy with much of the mystery religions of Greece, Egypt and the middle East. Iamblichus wrote extensive and profound commentaries on the Platonic dialogues (most of which now lost) and also also composed a work called On the Pythagorean Way of Life, focusing on Pythagoras as a wise sage and philosophical role model. The most important of his writings to have survived the centuries is his work known as On the Mysteries – and tonight Dr Crystal Addey will introduce us to Iamblichus and his philosophical “theurgy” (literally “working with the gods”).

The evening’s format will be a little different from our usual one – the introductory talk will take the first 30 or so minutes, and will include various passages from On the Mysteries – and we will then open the meeting to a general discussion on this much neglected aspect of the Platonic tradition.

Dr Crystal Addey is the author of Divination and Theurgy in Neoplatonism: Oracles of the Gods.

No previous experience of formal philosophy is required.

Entrance in free, but donations between £3-5 will be welcomed.

A PDF download of the extract we will be reading is available on our website together with further details of this and other Prometheus Trust’s activities: www.prometheustrust.co.uk (the PDF is on the “London Monday Evenings” page.)

Sep
28
Thu
Seeking British Bigfoot
Sep 28 @ 7:30 pm
Seeking British Bigfoot @ The Bell | England | United Kingdom

For the past two years Harry Rose has been working on a project exploring evidence the of Bigfoot in the UK; working with experts in the field and hearing of first hand encounters. He will be sharing some of the stories he has come into contact with and the images he has taken in recorded sighting locations.

Harry Rose is a photographer and researcher working at the British Journal of Photography. He has a keen interest in folk lore and mythology.

“I create work base on what is physical and tangible.”

Sep
29
Fri
Black holes and the fundamental laws of physics
Sep 29 @ 7:20 pm – 8:50 pm
Black holes and the fundamental laws of physics @ The Royal Institution | England | United Kingdom

Black holes are amongst the most extraordinary objects in the Universe and many believe they hold the key to unlocking the next level of our understanding of physics. Join Jerome Gauntlett at the Royal Institution as he discusses their fascinating properties and delves into how they create gravitational waves.

Discounted tickets are available to Members of the Ri. Find out more about how to join our community.

By booking to attend events at the Royal Institution, you confirm that you have read and agree to the Ri’s event terms and conditions.

Discourses are one of the Ri’s oldest and most prestigious series of talks. Since 1825, audiences in the theatre have witnessed countless mind-expanding moments, including the first public liquefaction of air by James Dewar, the announcement of the electron by J.J. Thomson and over 100 lectures by Michael Faraday. In more recent times, we have had Nobel laureates, Fields medal winners, scientists, authors and artists – all from the cutting-edge of their field. Discourses are an opportunity for the best and brightest to share their work with the world.

Steeped in nearly two centuries of tradition, a Discourse is more than just a lecture. To keep the focus on the topic, presenters begin sharply at 7:30pm without introduction and we lock the speaker into a room ten minutes ahead of the start (legend has it that a speaker once tried to escape!) We also ask guests to dress smartly to add to the sense of occasion.

Discourses are free for members – consider joining today.

Find out more about the history of the Friday Evening Discourses on our blog.

The dress code for this event is smart (ties optional, no jeans or trainers). Please note, if you are not dressed smartly you may be asked to sit in the gallery.

Event image by Nasa

Sep
30
Sat
Dr Karl’s great moments in science w/ @DoctorKarl
Sep 30 @ 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm
Dr Karl's great moments in science w/ @DoctorKarl @ The Royal Institution | England | United Kingdom

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki is a curious and optimistic Australian TV presenter and author. Join him for a whirlwind tour of incredible science facts, figures and fascinations in his third annual visit to the Ri. Explore questions like: “Who put that Nuclear Reactor in Africa 2 billion years ago? Coffee seems to be good for you – but what about other “substances”? Why is there probably Life on a moon of Saturn, what is the shortest scientific paper ever written, and how did we tip the Earth off its Spin Axis?” in this whistle stop tour of some of the world’s most exciting science

This event is particularly suitable for ages 12+

Discounted tickets are available to Members of the Ri. Find out more about how to join our community.

The doors will open at approximately 5.30pm, with a prompt start at 6.00pm. There will be time for questions after the talk. Latecomers will be admitted to the gallery.

By booking to attend events at the Royal Institution, you confirm that you have read and agree to the Ri’s event terms and conditions.

Event image by The Royal Institution

Oct
2
Mon
The Business Plan for Peace: Making Possible a World Without War
Oct 2 @ 7:00 pm – 9:45 pm

Renowned peace expert Dr Scilla Elworthy will draw on research for her latest book to offer insights into the forces driving conflict and how these can be countered. She will present a costed business case for peace and suggestions for how everyone can help work towards it.

Many people feel powerless in the face of what they see in the news: a world in crisis, with wars and violence taking place across the globe. In her talk Dr Scilla Elworthy will offer a vibrant alternative through an introduction to her latest book, written for all who want to step out of helplessness and apply their personal skills to doing something about the challenges facing us.

Packing a punch with facts and figures, Dr Elworthy’s talk will explore the forces that drive armed conflict, and then by contrast show what is already effective in building peace at both local and international levels. Unveiling key elements of the research that underpins her new book, she will detail a first ever fully costed Business Plan for Peace.

Finally she will reveal the massive impact that ordinary people can have in making a peaceful world possible, and how they can do it.

Scilla Elworthy is a world-renowned, award-winning peace activist, speaker, author and pioneer who in 1982 founded the Oxford Research Group, a non-governmental organisation set up to develop effective dialogue between nuclear weapons policy-makers worldwide and their critics, for which she was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize. She served as its executive director from 1982 until 2003, and subsequently set up Peace Direct, a charity supporting local peace-builders in conflict areas. Among many other achievements Dr Elworthy is a member of the World Future Council, an advisor to The Elders, a co-founder of Rising Women Rising World and the author of numerous books including in 2014 “Pioneering the Possible – Awakened Leadership for a World that Works,” published by North Atlantic Books.

The event will be chaired by Dr Philip Webber, physicist, award-winning environmentalist and defence expert who has written widely on the risks of nuclear weapons. He holds a PhD from Imperial College London and has worked since the 1980s to promote the responsible use of science, design and technology, particularly with Scientists for Global Responsibility.

The lecture is jointly organised by Conway Hall and The Martin Ryle Trust, a registered charity that continues the work of Sir Martin Ryle (1918-1984) in promoting justice, peace and the constructive uses of science and technology. Ryle was a physicist, radio astronomer, engineer and passionate critic of injustice and militarism.

Proceeds from this event will be used to fund work that furthers these goals.

The event opens at 7:00 pm with a bar and light refreshments. Dr Elworthy’s talk will start at 7:45 pm.

Strange Labyrinth: Outlaws, Poets, Mystics, Murderers of Epping Forest
Oct 2 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Will Ashon, author of Strange Labyrinth: Outlaws, Poets, Mystics, Murderers and a Coward in London’s Great Forest will be at Conway Hall to discuss his journey out in to the edges of London.

In litter-strewn Epping Forest on the edge of London, might a writer find that magical moment of transcendence? He will certainly discover filthy graffiti and frightening dogs, as well as world-renowned artists and fading celebrities, robbers, lovers, ghosts and poets. But will he find himself? Or a version of himself he might learn something from?
Will Ashon, author of Strange Labyrinth: Outlaws, Poets, Mystics, Murderers and a Coward in London’s Great Forest will be at Conway Hall to discuss his journey out in to the edges of London.
Strange Labyrinth is a quest narrative arguing that we shouldn’t get lost in order to find ourselves, but solely to accept that we are lost in the first place. It is a singular blend of landscape writing, political indignation, cultural history and wit from a startling new voice in non-fiction.
This event is in the Brockway Room which is on the ground floor and is accessible. The room has an induction loop for the hearing impaired.
Oct
4
Wed
The language of genes w/@harpistkat
Oct 4 @ 5:30 pm

Dr Kat Arney is a science communicator and award-winning blogger for Cancer Research UK, as well as a freelance science writer and broadcaster whose work has featured on BBC Radio 4, the Naked Scientists and more.

The language of genes has become common in the media. We know they make your eyes blue, your hair curly or your nose straight. We’re told that genes control the risk of cancer, heart disease, alcoholism or Alzheimer’s. The cost of DNA sequencing has plummeted from billions of pounds to a few hundred, and gene-based advances in medicine hold huge promise.

There are 2.2 metres of DNA inside every one of your cells, encoding roughly 20,000 genes. These are the ‘recipes’ that tell our cells how to make the building blocks of life, along with all the control switches ensuring they’re turned on and off at the right time and in the right place. But rather than a static string of genetic code, this is a dynamic, writhing biological library.

With the help of cats with thumbs, fish with hips and wobbly worms, Kat will unpack some of the mysteries in our DNA and explain the latest thinking about how our genes work.

Open science: Sharing data, saving lives w/ @all_isee
Oct 4 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Open science: Sharing data, saving lives w/ @all_isee @ The Royal Institution | England | United Kingdom

Chemist Alice Williamson is an active member of the open science movement and believes science is better and more efficient when ideas and data are shared. Find out more about the push to make science more open and her efforts to involve students, citizens and scientists in finding a cure for malaria.

Discounted tickets are available to Members of the Ri. Find out more about how to join our community.

The doors will open at approximately 6.30pm, with a prompt start at 7.00pm. There will be time for questions after the talk. Latecomers will be admitted to the gallery.

By booking to attend events at the Royal Institution, you confirm that you have read and agree to the Ri’s event terms and conditions.

Event image by CDC via Wikimedia

Oct
9
Mon
Genome editing: Where do we draw the line?
Oct 9 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Genome editing: Where do we draw the line? @ The Royal Institution | England | United Kingdom

Genome editing is a rapidly expanding field with the potential to improve the health of millions of people worldwide. But could genome editing one day be used not just to improve health, but also to improve longevity? Alter aesthetics not just ailments? Be used to increase height, decrease weight or even change personalities? Find out about the science and ethics of genome editing from a panel of leading geneticists.

Discounted tickets are available to Members of the Ri. Find out more about how to join our community.

The doors will open at approximately 6.30pm, with a prompt start at 7.00pm. There will be time for questions after the talk. Latecomers will be admitted to the gallery.

By booking to attend events at the Royal Institution, you confirm that you have read and agree to the Ri’s event terms and conditions.

Event image by Steve Jurvetson via Flickr

Oct
14
Sat
Love Took My Hand: George Herbert and the Friendship of God
Oct 14 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Love Took My Hand: George Herbert and the Friendship of God @ The Royal Foundation of St Katharine | England | United Kingdom

George Herbert is one of the great 17th century poet-priests. His poems embrace every shade of the spiritual life, from love and closeness, to anger and despair, to reconciliation and hope. And his work is always rich with audacious playfulness: he seems to take God on, knowing God will win, as if he’s having an argument with a faithful friend he knows is not going to leave. In much of theology and spirituality, God is a critical spectator to human lives, but for Herbert, his sense of relationship with God is primarily of a friendship that can never be broken.

In this reflective day, we will explore Herbert’s spirituality and sense of God, and what they might teach us about our own assumptions about and relationship with God.
Mark Oakley is Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, overseeing the arts and learning programmes at the cathedral. He writes regularly for the Church Times and The Tablet and broadcasts frequently on BBC Radio 4. His latest, bestselling, book The Splash of Words: Believing in Poetry (Canterbury Press) was published last year to great acclaim.

Cost £40. The day includes reflective worship, lunch and other refreshments and takes place at The Royal Foundation of St Katharine in Limehouse, East London (www.rfsk.org.uk). Bursaries are available for those for whom the charge would make it difficult to attend: please contact us for details. We are very grateful to our partners at St Katharine’s for their generosity in co-hosting our reflective days.

The Quantum Revolution
Oct 14 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
The Quantum Revolution @ The Royal College of General Practitioners | England | United Kingdom

Quantum physics has been with us for more than a century. But how much do we really understand about it, and how can we put it to use? Does its famous weirdness help or hinder scientists looking to make new quantum technologies? Is a quantum revolution about to happen?

Come to our one-day masterclass and let six leading experts guide you through one of today’s most exciting fields of science.

Speakers:

  • Erika Andersson, professor of quantum information science at Heriot-Watt University
  • Winfried Hensinger, professor of quantum technologies at the University of Sussex
  • James Ladyman, professor of philosophy of science at the University of Bristol
  • Plus, three more leading quantum experts to be announced
  • Hosted by Michael BrooksNew Scientist consultant and author of bestseller 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense

Overview:

“There is growing research in the area of quantum computing, and enough progress is being made that NSA must act now.” This statement, made last year by the US National Security Agency, shows that quantum technology is making rapid advances. NSA advice to businesses worldwide is that existing security measures could soon be broken by computers and other devices employing the strange powers possessed by quantum particles, such as atoms and photons. It sounds like science fiction – so what is really going on?

In this day of lectures and discussion, our experts will guide you through the quantum world, introducing its history and development, explaining what it means for our conception of reality, and looking into the emerging applications that are about to change the way we do science, business and security. How does a quantum computer work? Does quantum entanglement undermine our notion of free will? Are spooks already using quantum ciphers? Do multiple copies of me exist in an ever-growing multiverse? Could the atoms in your body be in two places at once? Am I already using quantum technology? Will quantum computing revolutionise science?

Join our speakers as they explore the fascinating implications of the quantum revolution.

Topics covered will include:

  • How does a quantum computer work?
  • Does quantum entanglement undermine our notion of free will?
  • Are spooks already using quantum ciphers?
  • Do multiple copies of me exist in an ever-growing multiverse?
  • Could the atoms in your body be in two places at once?
  • Am I already using quantum technology?
  • And much more

Who should attend?

Anyone interested in the deepest workings of nature, whatever your age or background. Whether you’re a scientist, a student or simply a fascinated human being, Instant Expert: The Quantum Revolution offers the chance to learn directly from the experts at our one-day masterclass.

What’s included in your ticket:

  • In-depth and engaging talks from 6 leading experts
  • Ask-an-expert Quantum Question Time session
  • Your chance to meet our six speakers and host Michael Brooks
  • Buffet lunch, plus morning and afternoon refreshments
  • Exclusive Instant Expert certificate
  • Exclusive on-the-day New Scientist subscription deal, book and merchandise offers
Oct
15
Sun
Animal Families and Me w/@gordonjbuchanan
Oct 15 @ 7:00 pm
Animal Families and Me w/@gordonjbuchanan @ London, Royal Geographical Society  | England | United Kingdom

Have you got any burning wildlife questions? BBC TV wildlife presenter and cameraman Gordon Buchanan has travelled the planet – from South America, Asia, Africa, Papua New Guinea, Russia and Alaska – and will definitely have some interesting answers! This is a show for any wildlife enthusiast who wants to enjoy the spell-binding stories of the natural world from a man who has experienced danger face to face.

Throughout autumn audiences all over the UK are invited to listen and interact with Gordon Buchanan as the highly acclaimed television wildlife cameraman and presenter of the popular BBC ‘Animal Family and Me’ series shares an insight into his incredible experiences with some of the world’s most fearsome and majestic animals.

Animal Families and Me promises a unique opportunity to hear personal recollections of his globetrotting travels, as Gordon Buchanan delves into his world of weird, wild and wonderful wildlife all illustrated with his own film footage and photography. With a reputation for relishing dangerous and tough assignments, his tales of challenging expeditions make for a thrilling evening not to be missed.