The Tsar's cup (Friday Evening Discourse)

7.50pm - 9.15pm, Friday 27 November

The Theatre

This event has already taken place

  • Davy Lamp in the Ri's Faraday Museum

    Credit: Paul Wilkinson

Price

Standard £17

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Associate members £11

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Free to Members, Faraday Members and Fellows

Event description

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.

About the speaker

Frank James is Professor of the History of Science and Head of Collections at the Royal Institution. His main research has been editing the Correspondence of Michael Faraday which is now complete in six volumes. He is currently writing a book on Humphry Davy’s practical work, having always had a strong interest in the relations of science with other areas of society and culture.

The Davy Cup

  • The Davy Cup, a treasure in the Ri's collections

    Credit: Royal Institution

  • The Davy Cup

    Credit: Royal Institution

Food and Drink

The Discourse is a perfect occasion to meet like-minded people who share an enthusiasm for science and technology!

Our Discourse drinks reception in the Atrium provides a vibrant and welcoming social space where Ri members and their guests can meet each other, share a drink or two with canapés and explore 200 years of science innovation in the Faraday Museum before attending the Discourse in our famous lecture theatre. The reception runs from 6.30pm – 7.30pm and tickets are £15 per person for Ri members and their guests. Please select the relevent option when booking your tickets.

A fine dining menu is also served before and after the Discourse in our restaurant and restaurant reservations are open to Ri members and non-members. To book your table, please call 020 7670 2973 or email ri@ri.ac.uk.

Please note

If you haven't been before, please note that Friday Evening Discourses are traditional events that date back to 1825. With that in mind, many attendees like to wear smart evening dress, though this is not a requirement.

There is also a certain level of tradition and ceremony during the event, including: the speaker and host walk through the doors as the clock bell rings at exactly 8pm; the speaker starts the talk with no introduction or hellos, and should finish at 9pm as the clock bell rings again; the speaker is locked in a room 10 minutes before the talk begins to prevent them running away (legend has it that once a speaker escaped just before the discourse). 

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

Filming

This event will be filmed and availble to watch on the Ri Channel a few weeks afterwards.

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