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Ada Lovelace Day - Live!

Celebrate Ada Lovelace Day 2014 with a cabaret of science at the Royal Institution

Ada Lovelace portrait

Event description

For one night only, we are proud to host a ‘cabaret of science’ for Ada Lovelace Day 2014, hosted by Helen Arney. There will be talks and performances from Roma Agrawal, Caro C, Hannah Fry, Konnie Huq, Turi King and more, all sharing their inspirations and their passion for science, technology, engineering and maths.

This event is suitable for everyone aged 16+. 

Speakers and performers

Roma Agrawal is a civil engineer from the team that built The Shard, bringing stories of bridges and a few jelly babies too. More about her work can be found on the Ri Blog.

Caro C is an electronic musician and sound engineer and one of the founders of Delia Derbyshire Day. Her performance is inspired by Delia’s fascinating archive and pioneering work including the realisation of the original Doctor Who theme in 1963.

Dr Hannah Fry is a UCL lecturer in the Mathematics of Cities, whose TEDx talk has been viewed over half a million times. She’ll show how maths can be used to predict the future.

Konnie Huq is a television presenter, writer, mathematics enthusiast, and at one time the longest-serving female presenter of Blue Peter after studying economics at Cambridge University.

Naomi Kashiwagi is an award winning artist and performer. The Royal Institution let her loose in their prep room and archives, where she’s developed her own unique take on Ada Lovelace. 

Dr Turi King is the geneticist who led the DNA analysis that located the remains of Richard III in Leicester, and explores how genetics combined with history, archeology, anthropology and forensics can shed light on our past and future.

Steph Troeth is a user experience researcher and designer, who will share her obsession with finding ways to improve technology by understanding what people do (and don’t do) in the real world.

Dr Helen Czerski is a physicist and oceanographer at University College London. When she's not in the lab or on a boat (or doing both at the same time) she presents science programmes for the BBC.

Event host Helen Arney is a self-professed geek songstress, who writes maths and science-inspired comedy songs and performs across the UK.

Who was Ada Lovelace?

Victorian mathematician Ada Lovelace wrote the first computer programme, yet she lived 100 years before the first electronic computers were built. Instead, she worked with nothing more than plans for a mechanical computer called the Analytical Engine, which was being designed by Charles Babbage. 

Ada’s deep understanding of the Engine and her uniquely imaginative approach lead her to write not just the first computer programme, but also to describe a future for computing that now seems uncannily accurate. She saw that a computing machine could create images and music if it was given the right algorithms, and not just do complicated sums - a view that was much more nuanced than those of her peers. 

About Ada Lovelace Day

Ada Lovelace Day is an international celebration of the achievements of women in STEM. It aims to raise their profiles, to inspire others and to create new role models for young and old alike. It began as a day of blogging in 2009, and has now grown to become a global phenomenon, with thousands of participants worldwide organising grass-roots gatherings, conferences, meet-ups, Wikipedia edit-a-thons, and other live events. Find out more at 

Women at the Royal Institution

We are proud to host the Ada Lovelace Day as part of a year-long celebration of women in science at the Royal Institution.

Since its origins, women have always been able to join the Ri, an unusual stance for learned societies in the 1800s, and many of the ground-breaking scientific discoveries made here over the past two centuries have been achieved by women.

These include Kathleen Lonsdale who determined the structure of Benzene in 1925, Dorothy Hodgkin who advanced the technique of X-ray crystallography and won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1964, and Louise Johnson who helped determine the structure of the enzyme lysozyme in the 1960s. Read more about women at the Ri on our blog.


This event will be filmed and available on the Ri Channel soon after the it has finished. Many Ri events are already available to watch.