Previous Lectures

Previous Years' Programmes

This is a record of the lecture programmes from previous years - a season runs from September of one year to May in the next

2023 -2024

13 September: London's Industrial Archaeology,  Prof David Perrett (Chairman, Association of Industrial Archaeology) 

11 October: Biofabrication Techniques in Organ and Tissue Engineering, Dr Alexander Justin, Cambridge University

8 November: Cancer in the English Prison Population,  Dr Elizabeth Davies, Head, Centre for Cancer, Society & Public Health, King's College, London 

13 December: Modelling the Upper Atmospheres of Planets in and out of the Solar System, Prof Alan  Aylward, UCL

10 January: What's in a Name? The Use of Onomastics for Science Policy, Dr Grant Lewison,

  RSS Council

14 February: Urban Greening to Combat Climate Change (working title), Dusty Gedge, European Federation of Green Roof & Wall Assocs 

13 March: The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, Dr Aisyah Faruk, RBG Kew

10 April: Using AI to Predict Bee Colony Behaviour, Dr Gordon Hunter, Kingston

8 May: Heat Pumps: For a Cooler Future, Dr Michael de Podesta


14 September: Interstellar Travel by Prof Alan Aylward emeritus Professor UCL

12 October: The Thames Tideway Project by Dave Watts, Engineer at Thames Water

9 November: Conversational AI by Dr Julie Wall, UEL

14 December: Is it Possible to Live a Carbon Zero Life? by Dr Michael Podesta

11 January: Lessons from the Inquest into the Deaths of Diana Princess of Wales
and Dodi Al Fayed by Prof Atholl Johnston

8 February: The New NPL Optical Atomic Clock by Dr Rachel Godun, NPL

8 March: Artificial Intelligence and Alzheimer's, Prof Eric Aboagye,  Imperial

12 April: Fusion Power.. .Within our grasp? by Robin Stafford Allen, Culham (Retired)

10 May: GPS by Dr Nick Stapley (RSS Council)

2021-2022 All lectures this season were by ZOOM

22 September: Exoplanets, Prof Alan Aylward, UCL

20 October: The Quantum Kilogram, Dr Paul Quincey, ex NPL

17 November: Animal Testing and the 3R's: Dr Elliot Lilley

15 December: Creativity with Computation: Generative Design in Engineering, by Conor Black, Arup

19 January: The Diamond Light Source, Harwell, Dr David Price

9 February: Silicon Metal - A Cornerstone of Modern Technology, Dr Thomas Blase, Beata Buro

23 March: Accessibility and inclusive design shaping the future for mobile devices and life styles for everyone, Mr Chris Lewis

13 April: The New Science of the Body Clock, and How It Can Revolutionize Your Health, Prof Russell G Foster, Oxford University

11 May: A Printed Steel Bridge, Dr Craig Buchanan, Imperial College

2020-2021 All lectures this season were by ZOOM

9 September: Milankovitch Cycles, Prof Alan Aylward

21 October: The Electricity Distribution Network and Power Transformers, Mr Paul Dyer, UK Power Networks,  preceded by the Annual General Meeting

18 November: Light & Wellbeing- Circadian Alignment- Natural Light vs Artificial Light, Sophie Parry, Zumtobel Group

9 December: Bitcoin and the Blockchain, Keith Bear, Fellow, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

20 January: Gut Bacteria, Prof Lindsay Hall, University of Munich

24 February: A Map of the Invisible,  Prof Jon Butterworth, UCL

24 March: Comparing Pathways to Domestication, Agriculture, and Civilisation across Asia and Africa, Professor Dorian Fuller UCL

14 April: Pharmaceuticals in the Environment, Dr Leon Barron, Imperial College

19 May: Biology and Light, Dr Elinor Thompson, University of Greenwich

11 September: Plastics, Dr Ron Bennett

16 October: The Surface of Mars: The Geological History of the Red Planet, Dr Joel Davis, Natural History Museum,  preceded by the Annual General Meeting

30 October: From Gout to Mad Cow Disease - My Bioscience Life in Medicine, Dr David Perrett, Queen Mary University of London

13 November: Human Longevity, David Goldhill (Inspired by his book 'How to live to be 100')

11 December: Space Debris - a Horror Story, Spyros Grammenos, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd

15 January: Ants, Ant Intelligence, and Ant-hills in the Royal Parks, Dr Tim King, Wolfson College Oxford

12 February: The Carbide Age: Superlative Tool Materials for the 21st Century, Bryan Roebuck, Senior NPL Fellow 

The following lectures were cancelled because of the outbreak of COVID19

18 March: The Apollo Moon Missions, Jerry Workman, FRAS CANCELLED 

15 April: Pathology - exact title to be confirmed, Professor Atholl Johnston CANCELLED 

20 May: Comparing Pathways to Domestication, Agriculture, and Civilisation across Asia and Africa, Professor Dorian Fuller UCL CANCELLED

Programme 2018-19

12 Sep Applying Maths in Medical Imaging Assisting the diagnosis of liver cancers from ultrasound videos, Dr Gordon Hunter  Kingston University

10 Oct Measuring the Earth from Space  - and being a woman in science
Preceded by the Annual General Meeting. Wine & nibbles after the talk Dr Emma Wooliams
National Physical Laboratory

24 Oct Climate Change: Science, Policy and Opinion David Warrilow  Royal Meteorological Society

28 Nov Quantum Biology - from animal migration to future cell therapies Dr Alex Jones
National Physical Laboratory

19 Dec Scanning Probe Microscopy  Measurements in the nanoscale (Christmas meeting with wine and nibbles) Andrés Muñiz Piniella C4AD CIC

16 Jan NMR Spectroscopy  - a miscellany of molecular microscopy, Dr Paul Driscoll
The Francis Crick Institute

13 Feb Things we have measured at the NPL Fiona Auty National Physical Laboratory

13 Mar Women in Zoology, Ann Sylph Zoological Society of London

10 Apr Forensic Science - DNA Evidence, Dr Georgina Meakin MCFSF FHEA, University College London

15 May Deep Learning, Professor James Orwell,  Kingston University.

Programme 2017-18

13 Sep How do we know anything? And how can we know things better?
Why measurement matters. The imminent redefinition of four SI units, Dr Michael de Podesta
National Physical Laboratory

11 Oct South East Asian Geology, Preceded by the Annual General Meeting. Wine & nibbles after the talk, Prof Robert Hall,  Earth Sciences, Royal Holloway University

25 Oct Sopwith Biplanes, David Hassard, The Hawker Association

8 Nov Aerodynamics of today's Megastructures, Stefano Cammelli BMT Fluid Mechanics, Teddington

13 Dec Forensic Microscopy - Tales from the past, (Christmas meeting with wine and nibbles), Pam Hamer, Retired Forensic Scientist

17 Jan The History of Anaesthesia, Dr Douglas Justins

14 Feb The Geology of Italy,  Plate tectonics, volcanoes, earthquakes, art and scenery, Dr Lidia Lonergan, Imperial College London

14 Mar Beekeeping, Simon Silvester, RSS member

11 Apr Conservation of Photographic Materials, Jacquie Moon, The National Archives, Kew

9 May Medieval Mottes and Prehistoric Mounds, Dr James Leary, Reading University


Programme 2016-17

7 Sep Life on Mars, Prof Andrew Coates, Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London

5 Oct The Plastic Ocean: a global pollution problem, Preceded by the Annual General Meeting. Wine & nibbles after the talk, Ronan McAdam, Grantham Institute, Imperial College London [ICL]

26 Oct Climate geo-engineering, Prof Joanna Haigh, Co-director, Grantham Institute of Climate Change & Environment, ICL

23 Nov The Curiosity Rover on Mars, Jerry Workman, Hampstead Observatory

14 Dec The selection of the right material: bottles to jet engines to brakes, (Christmas meeting with wine and nibbles),Prof Rees Rawlings, Imperial College London

25 Jan The importance of geology versus biology in Government marine policy, Prof Paul Leonard,  Visiting Professor at Brunel

22 Feb Emerging Contaminants in the Environment: implications for Human Health, Dr Nick Voulvoulis, Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London

22 Mar 4D Science: how we use synchrotron x-ray glasses to see inside a volcano, Prof Peter D Lee, Acting Director, Research Complex at Harwell

12 Apr Laser remote sensing of fugitive gas emissions, Dr Tom Gardiner, National Physical Laboratory

17 May Spider Silks and Webs,Yue Jin Oh,  Oxford Silk Group, Zoology Dept., Oxford University

Programme 2015-16

9 Sep Fusion power - safe, clean, inexhaustible nuclear power: do we need it, and is it possible?, Dr Alan Costley

7 Oct New Horizons: space-probe mission to Pluto, Preceded by the Annual General Meeting. Wine & Nibbles after the talk, Dr Mike Goldsmith, Science writer

21 Oct Cold atoms: from fundamental physics to precision measurements, Dr Vera Guarrera.  National Physical Laboratory

11 Nov Colour Perception, Bill Stevenson, Society of Dyers and Colourists

9 Dec Non-native invasives in freshwater,  (Christmas meeting with wine and nibbles), Joe Pecorelli, Zoological Society, London

20 Jan Future of wireless communications: higher frequencies, higher data rates, shorter distances, Prof Alwyn Seeds, University College London

17 Feb Applied plasma physics: the new frontiers of space propulsion and medicine,Dr Thomas Harle, Fourth State Medicine

16 Mar Lecture for National Science Week, Inter-stellar chemistry observed from the Herschel space observatory 2010, Prof Geoffrey Duxbury, University of Strathclyde

13 Apr Electronic Music, Andrew Hanson, Outreach Manager, NPL

11 May Sustainable livestock grazing systems, Jamie McFadzean, Rothamsted Research,
North Wyke and University of Exeter

 Earlier Programmes 2001-02 to 2014-15