2014 Christmas Lecturer to curate @RealScientists

The Royal Institution collaborates with @RealScientists, a rotational Twitter account, to connect thousands of followers around the world with the world of engineering.

Prof Danielle George, our 2014 Christmas Lecturer
Paul Wilkinson


Professor Danielle George, our 2014 Christmas Lecturer, will curate the Real Scientists Twitter account for one week, beginning Sunday 2 November 2014.

The Real Scientists (@RealScientists) Twitter account features a different scientist or engineer every week, sharing unique insights into their life and work with more than 14,000 followers from around the world. Curators over the past two years have included researchers, science communicators, science teachers, science journalists, and science policy makers. 

Danielle is a Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering at The University of Manchester. In this year’s CHRISTMAS LECTURES ‘Sparks will fly: How to hack your home’, she will reveal how anyone can use their imagination to change the world by from their very own home by taking control of the devices we use every day. Danielle will take three great British inventions – a light bulb, a telephone and a motor – and demonstrate how viewers can adapt, transform and ‘hack’ them to do extraordinary things.

While curating @RealScientists, Danielle will engage with an audience that includes members of the scientific and engineering community, students and the general public. She will present a behind the scenes view of how the CHRISTMAS LECTURES demonstrations and script are developed, share an insight into her outreach work in local schools, and explain the aims and impact of her research at The University of Manchester.

In addition, she hopes to inspire the @RealScientists community to come up with and share their own experiments and home hacks via Twitter and the Ri’s new online community www.hackgallery.org.

Danielle said: “When I was eight years old I was given a telescope by my parents and I was fascinated - I would get up in the middle of the night to watch lunar eclipses. It was the first time I realised how mathematics and physics could be used in a practical and useful way and I knew immediately that this kind of hands-on investigation was what I wanted to do in life.

“Today’s generation of young people are in a truly unique position. The technology we use and depend on every day is expanding and developing at a phenomenal rate and so our society has never been more equipped to be creative and innovative.

“If we all take control of the technology and systems around us, and think creatively, then solving some of the world’s greatest challenges is only a small step away. I believe everyone has the potential to be an inventor!”

Upulie Divisekera, Co-founder of Real Scientists said: "The Royal Institution is famed the world over for its outreach and engagement. Real Scientists is a unique science-based rotational curation account, bringing all aspects of real time science to a live, international audience through a purely digital medium. We're delighted to be collaborating with the Royal Institution to engage further with digital audiences on an international scale, to bring awareness of the CHRISTMAS LECTURES and to encourage people to put some science into their day."

This year the Ri is also teaming up with the fantastic I’m a Engineer, Get me out of here organisation to give everyone all over the world the opportunity to have their 'Sparks will fly' CHRISTMAS LECTURES questions answered online by a team of engineers, hackers and inventors in their interactive forum from the first day of broadcast until the end of January 2015.

More information

The CHRISTMAS LECTURES are the Royal Institution's biggest and most famous demonstration-based event for young people. Initiated in 1825 by Michael Faraday, the lectures have been traditionally broadcast on UK television over the festive period and today are made freely available to an international audience via the Ri Channel.

The 2014 CHRISTMAS LECTURES are produced by Windfall Films for BBC FOUR.

Find out more about RealScientists at www.realscientists.org.