Sir Richard Catlow appointed as Chair of Trustees at the Royal Institution

Sir Richard Catlow FRS appointed following the Ri's AGM last night.

The exterior of the Royal Institution
Image credit: Tim Mitchell

Leading book publisher Collins, has today published three new titles in its Big Cat Books series, in partnership with the Royal Institution (Ri).

Authored by the Ri’s Family Programmes manager, Peter Gallivan, the new science-focused titles are specifically written to support primary-age children in their reading development, from phonics to fluency.

The three books, covering mathematics, engineering and natural history are ‘banded’ for guided and independent reading in schools and at home. Each is complemented by reading notes, comprehensive teaching and assessment support, and e-books.

In ‘Can I talk to a chimpanzee?’, Pete takes young readers on a scientific safari to explore the amazing ways animals communicate with each other, from grunting gorillas and whale calls to copy-cat birds and smelly snakes; while in ‘How to build a skyscraper’ he reveals some surprising facts about how the fascinating buildings that tower over our cities are made.

In ‘Why do we need maths?’, Pete explores the incredible ways in which maths is used in the world – from building bridges to preventing disease – the topic of the 2019 CHRISTMAS LECTURES from the Royal Institution, presented mathematician Hannah Fry.

Each book supports the Ri’s charitable purpose to connect as many people as possible with science, in particular through engagement with younger audiences and support for science education in the classroom and at home.

The new books’ author, Peter Gallivan, said: “As a child my passion for science came from reading; books were what opened my mind to the amazing wonders of the world around me.

“So I am really excited to share these books with everyone, and hopefully spark a love of science in young people across the UK and beyond. I hope everyone enjoys learning from them as much as I enjoyed writing them!”.

Katherine Mathieson, Director of the Royal Institution, said: “At the Ri we’re encouraging everyone to enjoy a lifelong journey with science, and that journey begins best with children and young people.

“So as books are one of the most accessible ways young people can start to learn about science, showcasing some of the amazing work done by scientists, I look forward to seeing Pete’s titles in schools, local libraries, online and in bookshops!”

The three Ri titles have been published by Big Cat Collins today, Monday 11 July, and are available from the Big Cat Collins website and all good booksellers.


For more information please contact Robert Davies in the Ri press office: +44 (0)20 7670 2991 /