Whether you're new to a particular subject or are already familiar with it, our public events are there to help you think more deeply about science and its place in our lives.
Our speakers are drawn from cutting-edge researchers, top science writers and leading names from the media and government. They provide a fantastic opportunity to engage with some of the the biggest names in science.
Discourses are one of the Ri’s oldest series of talks. They follow a format established in 1826 by Michael Faraday, where the best and brightest share their work with the world.
Recent Discourses have been presented by Nobel prize winners, Fields medal winners, scientists, authors and artists – all from the leading-edge of their field. All our Discourse speakers follow in a long tradition of world-leading talks at the Ri, including the first public liquefaction of air by James Dewar, the announcement of the electron by JJ Thomson and over 100 lectures by Michael Faraday.
Historically our Discourse speakers were always locked into a room 10 minutes before the start, as legend has it that a speaker once tried to escape.
Some of our guests dress smartly for our Discourse events to add to this sense of occasion.
Discourse presenters begin sharply at 7.30pm without an introduction.
Anyone can attend a Discourse, and tickets for Ri Members are free.
Read more about the history of the discourses on our blog.
Livestreamed talks and events
Want to enjoy a talk from the Ri from the comfort of your own home? We now livestream many of our events.
For children and young people
Find out more about our talks, shows, workshops and events for children and young people.