Spring 2018 events

Our exciting programme of events from January to April is now open for booking. Don't miss out!


The legacy of Frankenstein

2018 marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s novel ‘Frankenstein’. To celebrate, we’re hosting a series of panel discussions with Philip Ball and a range of scientists, curators, ethicists, authors and historians, exploring the continuing relevance of Shelley’s gothic masterpiece.

We'll be exploring the life and times of Mary Shelley and her links to the Royal Institution on 23 January.

On 2 March, Philip Ball and biochemist Nick Lane will discuss how life first arose on Earth.

On 21 March, Philip Ball will be joined by physiologist Frances Ashcroft and curator Ruth Garde to discuss the electricity of life.

Many people feel the modern-day equivalent of Frankenstein's experiments are stem cell and embryology research, so we've put together a panel of researchers and ethicists to discuss ethical gene editing on 24 April.


Filming our events

Many of the events in this programme will be filmed and available on the Ri YouTube Channel a few months after the event. Subscribe to receive notifications each time a video is released.

Ri Patrons Present

Ri Patrons are valuable members of the Ri community who are dedicated to supporting our charitable mission. We are pleased to announce a new event series. Open to Ri Members and the public and free to Ri Patrons, these events explore science and society with the same excellence in science communication you've come to expect from all Ri events.

Join us in January as an expert panel explores modern decision-making, from bias in hiring to risk and uncertainty.

In March, neuroscientist and engineer Daniel Wolpert will discuss how our brain controls our bodies.

Sheila Rowan, Scotland's Chief Scientific Advisor will join us in April to provide an update on her team's work on gravitational waves.

Spring programme

The new season of Ri talks is now available to book online. Running from 16 January until the end of April, we have an amazing range of events that you won't want to miss. Find out about Frankenstein, hear about the Higgs, discover more about decision making, and much more.

Read on for some of the highlights or browse our What's On calendar online to book your events today.

Don't forget, Ri Members can attend Discourses for free and receive tickets to our talks for just £7.


This season's Family Fun Day is on 17 February and we're getting hands-on with the 2017 CHRISTMAS LECTURES.

We also have Felix Flicker embracing paradoxes, Dean Lomax uncovering British dinosaurs, Alom Shaha cooking up hands-on wonder, Dan Plane bringing energy to life and Great British Bake Off finalist Andrew Smyth engineering with cake.



To start off the Spring season of Discourses, geneticist Giles Yeo will discuss the obesity epidemic and will ask whether your genes are to blame when your jeans don't fit on 26 January.

In February, astronomer Michele Dougherty will share some of the most fascinating and intriguing discoveries from the Cassini-Huygens mission in Postcards from Saturn on 23 February.

Join neuroscientist Jon Simons as he explores not just the physical processes of memory, but also examines new evidence that is shedding light on the subjective experience of remembering on 23 March.

To wrap up this season, we welcome back radio telescope engineer and former Christmas Lecturer Danielle George as she discusses her life and work.