Festive gift ideas for 2019, with a twist of science

At the Ri we're committed to helping everyone think more deeply about science and its place in our lives, which during the festive season we’re going to do via the medium of gift ideas.

Starting simply…

We recommend the (almost) fool-proof gift of a t-shirt.

(Spoiler Alert) there is no actual element 'Ah!', but pick the right size, and you're done!

Potentially more cerebrally rewarding than a t-shirt…

Forgive the shameless plug, the Ri has fantastic books derived from the Christmas Lecture series.

Like all good parents, we couldn't pick a favourite but if you want somewhere to start, we recommend taking a look at our newest, shiniest book so far: 10 Voyages Through the Human Mind: Christmas Lectures from the Royal Institution.

  • Book in Christmas tree with bauble

    10 Voyages Through the Human Mind: Christmas Lectures from the Royal Institution, by Catherine de Lange

    Credit: Royal Institution

Ri Membership, the gift that keeps on giving

If you’re looking to double down on the Ri theme, then Ri Members can get this book and others at half price (just one of the significant benefits of Ri membership).

With free tickets to our monthly Discourses, half price tickets to year-round lectures, exclusive member offers and a whole lot more, Gift membership to the Ri is the gift that keeps on giving. The perfect gift for scientists, science lovers, and that person in your life that you know has a love of science just waiting to be ignited.

Why not sneak a little cool science into their home?

We love Infinity Mirrors at the Ri, they’re functional, artistic, and science-y.

There are many differenttypes available to buy online.

Or even try your hand at making one

There are lots of online turorials, like this one from instructalbes to make an IKEA-hack infinity mirror.

And this one one YouTube:

Feel like a challenge?

Written for laymen, Quantum: a Guide for the Perplexed will guide you through the basics of quantum mechanics.

Written by the masterful science communicator Jim Al-Khalili, this book helps the reader to navigate the concepts of quantum mechanics, allowing them to: (a) silence the pub bore, (b) engage with Marvel Comic aficionados on the tricks of Dr Strange or The Ant Man, and (c) understand the strange and sometimes paradoxical world of quantum mechanics.

Need something a little more 'hands-on'?

BrightMinds has a fabulous selection of science kits. In those fellting days between Christmas and New Year, any budding science explorer can grow an array of different coloured crystals with this Crystal Growing Experimental Kit.

Or excite them with the gift(s) of nanotechnology

Why not introduce them to the subject via a bit of holiday reading, perhaps via Nanotechnology for Dummies.

And then bring them to the Ri on 13 January to discover how scientists are bringing nanotechnology to the forefront of biological research and development for this talk by Sonia Contera, Associate Professor of Biological Physics at Oxford Physics Department.

And last, but not least…

Why not take them on a journey to the edge of our understanding of spacetime, from Einstein and Bohr to the present day, with Sean Carroll, a physicist at Caltech researching cosmology, field theory, and gravitation.

  • Cover of book

    Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime, by Sean Carroll

In Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime, Sean Carroll presents a new path towards solving the apparent conflict between quantum mechanics and Einstein's theory of general relativity.

And tickets are now available to see Sean Carroll himself at the Ri on 13 January 2020.

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