Talks and shows

Beyond the hype: The inside story of science's biggest media controversies

A camera behind scenes
Donald Tong via Pixels

Do you remember the ‘Climategate’ email leak? Or the ‘Frankenfood’-style headlines about the perils of GM foods? What about the time the government sacked its own science advisor for challenging drug laws?

Beyond the Hype takes us behind the scenes of some of the most contentious stories in science over the past two decades. From animal research and genetically modified foods to hybrid embryos and a global pandemic, it demonstrates the vital importance of scientists talking to the media – and warns of the damage to public understanding when scientists are silenced on the defining issues of our times.

‘The way the media covers science stories and breakthroughs has never been more important or relevant…This book should be recommended reading’ Jim Al-Khalili, presenter of The Life Scientific.

Event type

This is a theatre event, where the speaker and audience are together in our Theatre.

This event will not be livestreamed.

About Fiona Fox

Fiona Fox is the chief executive of the Science Media Centre. She has a degree in journalism and many years of experience working in media relations for high-profile national organisations. Her career includes stints working for, amongst others, the Equal Opportunities Committee, the National Council for One Parent Families, and CAFOD (a leading aid agency).

Fiona was the founding director of the Science Media Centre when it was established in 2002. Under her leadership, the Centre has become an indispensable resource for science journalists. It provides scientific context and comment from some of the UK’s top scientists for many major news stories thanks to the Centre’s media database, which has over 2300 such experts on it.

Fiona's latest book, Beyond The Hype: The Inside Story on Science's Biggest Controversies, is available from Amazon and all good bookstores.

About the Chair

Evan Davis is an economist, journalist, and the presenter of PM, the news and current affairs programme that airs weekdays and Saturdays on Radio 4. Before taking up that role in November 2018, he was the main presenter of BBC2’s Newsnight, as well as presenting the Today programme on BBC Radio 4. Evan is also well-known for fronting the BBC2 business reality show Dragons Den.

Timing

Doors to the theatre will open at 6.30pm. The event will begin at 7.00pm.

Accessibility

The Theatre is on the first floor and there is step-free access from the street via lift.

The closest underground station is Green Park, which is step-free.

There is space at floor level in the theatre for wheelchair users.

Seating is usually unreserved for our events. If you and your group require seating reservations, please do let us know by emailing us at events@ri.ac.uk, and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Carers can receive a free ticket to an event by emailing events@ri.ac.uk.

Our theatre is equipped with an Audio Induction Loop. 

Covid guidelines

In line with government guidance, face masks are no longer mandatory. But while Covid-19 cases remain high, we recommend that face coverings are worn in our Theatre and at Ri events. Please also continue to observe other Covid-secure measures, such as maintaining a social distance where possible.

Please do not attend the Ri if you are displaying Covid-symptoms and/or are still returning a positive test.

Thank you for respecting other people and their choices, and for helping us keep all of our visitors and staff well.

Event terms and conditions

Booking tickets

Eventbrite

Online booking for Royal Institution events is run by a third-party service, Eventbrite (www.eventbrite.co.uk).

To book Royal Institution events through Eventbrite users must register with Eventbrite and set-up user account with a unique email and password.  All information provided by you or collected by Eventbrite in connection with the Services is governed by Eventbrite's Privacy Policy, a copy of which is located at www.eventbrite.com/privacypolicy. The Royal Institution reserves the right to send you emails relating to the specific event(s) you have booked.

View the full Eventbrite terms of service (www.eventbrite.com/tos)   

Errors

Errors made by you when entering your data, are your responsibility and the Royal Institution will not be held responsible for any inconvenience caused by the supply of incorrect personal information, nor will we offer refunds on any accidental purchases made. It is your responsibility to check that the tickets issued to you are accurate.

Event partners

The Royal Institution occasionally runs events in partnership with other organisations, learned societies and charities. In this instance we reserve the right to share your contact details with these third parties, solely for the purpose of providing you with information relating to that event.

Public events

Refunds and exchanging tickets

The Royal Institution will only guarantee a refund if the event is cancelled by us. Our liability in this case will be limited to the face value of your tickets.

If you wish to cancel your booking, you must let us know 24 hours before the start of the event.

Eventbrite bookings

The Royal Institution may allow users to request ticket refunds on online ticket purchases through Eventbrite at our discretion.

To request a refund, users must log into their personal Eventbrite account.

Phone bookings

If you have purchased tickets by phone and wish to cancel your booking, you must call us at least one working day prior to the start of the event. To request a refund, please phone 020 7409 2992 or email events@ri.ac.uk.

Free tickets may be released at any time by the user at no charge.

Science Short Courses

For Science Short Courses, attendees may request a refund up to 7 days before the start of the course. After this point, a refund cannot be offered.

Member tickets

You must ensure that you book only the tickets for which you are eligible based on your level of membership at the time of the event. The Royal Institution reserves the right to cancel your ticket if member ticket eligibility criteria are not met.

Concessions

Concession tickets are available for the following groups:

  • Aged 60 or over
  • Aged 16 or under
  • Full-time students
  • Unwaged
  • Anyone in receipt of Universal Credit
  • Disabled

Payment

For online payments processed through Eventbrite payments may be made using American Express, MasterCard, Visa, or Visa Debit.

Payments made by phone are processed by a secure Tier 1 DSS compliant payment processor. We accept MasterCard, Visa, Visa Delta, Maestro and American Express. We cannot accept Solo, Visa Electron or Diners cards.

Bookings on behalf of a party of people

If you are booking on behalf of a party, you accept these terms and conditions on behalf of all members of your party and are responsible for all payments due from the party.

Age suitability

Unless specified, our public events are suitable for ages 15 and above. However for most events, younger children are more than welcome to attend with parental permission.

Childre aged under 13 years must be with accompanying adult. If you are unsure of the suitability of an event for a young person, please contact the Public Programme team at events@ri.ac.uk.

Freedom of speech

The Royal Institution is a forum for the free and open discussion of ideas, and we recognise the fundamental importance of freedom of speech within the law. All speakers who contribute to any of our programmes represent their own views and do not necessarily represent the views of the Royal Institution.

Holiday workshops

Refunds and exchanging tickets

The Royal Institution will only guarantee a refund if the event is cancelled by us. Our liability in this case will be limited to the face value of your tickets. If you have purchased tickets by phone and wish to cancel your booking, please phone 020 7409 2992 or email summerschools@ri.ac.uk. If you have purchased tickets via Eventbrite and wish to cancel your booking you will need to log into your personal Eventbrite account. You may only request a refund if you have cancelled your ticket at least two weeks (14 days) prior to the workshop start date. After this date, a refund may be possible, but only if there is someone on the waiting list who can take your place.

Age restrictions

Summer School workshops are very strictly for students within the age criteria advertised for each event. We are unable to accept bookings for students outside these ages and any bookings made for students who are not of the correct age at the time of the workshop will be cancelled. This is to make sure students attending can get the most out of their experience.

Other information

Workshops which run from 11am to 3pm include a lunch break and students must bring a packed lunch and a drink. For ages 16–18, students will be allowed the leave the building during this break. For ages 13–15, only when permission has been given at the time of booking will students be allowed to leave unattended. For ages 7–9 and 10–12, students will be fully supervised and only allowed to leave the building with their responsible adult.

If students have any allergies, medical conditions or access requirements please inform us of these at the time of booking, so we have time to make any adjustments required. If you have any questions or concerns please contact us via summerschools@ri.ac.uk.

Attending Ri events

Event changes

The Royal Institution reserves the right to make any alterations to speakers, event content, event timing and/or event venue, and will make reasonable efforts to contact audience members to inform them of any changes. The Royal Institution will not be held liable for any changes made to the advertised event.

Right to refuse and search

The Royal Institution reserves the right to refuse you admission if, in its reasonable opinion, your admission to the venue might:

  • Be a risk to the safety of the audience and/or yourself, and/or
  • Affect the enjoyment of members of the audience, and/or
  • Affect the running of the event

For example, if you act aggressively and/or appear to be under the influence of drink and/or drugs, you will be refused admission. We may also request you to leave (taking any such appropriate action that may be necessary to enforce this right) before or during events for any of the reasons given above. Should you be refused admission or requested to leave you will not be entitled to a refund. The Royal Institution may also, on certain occasions, have to conduct security searches to ensure your safety.

Children

All children under the age of 11 must be accompanied by an adult while in the theatre. The Royal Institution reserves the right to refuse admission to an unaccompanied child under the age of 11.

Latecomers

The Royal Institution will, in most cases, be able to seat you if you arrive late to an event. However, we reserve the right to refuse you admission if you do not arrive by the start of the event. We also reserve the right to re-sell your ticket if you have not arrived by the start of the event. In the event of this occurring, we will endeavour to find you a seat or standing room, but this cannot be guaranteed.

Risk assessments

For a copy of the risk assessment prepared for schools attending Royal Institution events, please email schools@ri.ac.uk

Filming and recording

By attending a Royal Institution event, audience members consent to being filmed, livestreamed, recorded and photographed. Audience members grant the Royal Institution the right to use recordings of any type made of their attendance in any and all media, and by means of publicity and promotion relating to the Royal Institution. School parties should ensure that appropriate parental permission is obtained before attendance at any Royal Institution event.

The unauthorised use of photographic, sound or film equipment in the venue is strictly prohibited. If you wish to use this equipment, please contact the Events Team prior to the start of the event. The copyright is assigned to the Ri for any recordings of events produced by the Ri. Unauthorised recording may result in content being destroyed, and your removal from the event without a ticket refund.

Electronic equipment

All electronic equipment, especially mobile phones, must be set to silent before entering the Theatre and/or any other spaces where events are taking place.

Smoking

The Royal Institution operates a non-smoking policy throughout its entire building.

Events that supersede these terms and conditions

Some special events, for example the CHRISTMAS LECTURES, have Terms and Conditions for booking and attendance that supersede the ones given here. In those cases we will inform you of the new Terms and Conditions on booking.

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