The science beneath our feet: De-extinction and volcanoes

7.00pm to 9.30pm, Wednesday 5 April

Conversation Room

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

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  • De-extinction and volcanoes

    Credit: Pexels CC0 Licence


Exclusive event for Ri Patrons.

Event description

This event will feature Oxford volcanologist Tamsin Mather who will speak about the science behind volcanoes and volcanic plumes. Ri Patrons will also be treated to an entertaining and educational presentation by Helen Pilcher speaking about the science of de-extinction from dodos to dinosaurs.

About the speakers

Tamsin Mather is a volcanologist and Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford where she has been on the faculty since 2006. She did an undergraduate masters degree in chemistry and has a masters degree in history and philosophy of science. Her PhD (2004, Cambridge, UK) was on the atmospheric chemistry of volcanic plumes and their environmental effects including in biogeochemical cycles. Since then her research has continued to broaden to explore the many and diverse ways in which volcanoes interact/have interacted with Earth's environment as well as understanding their behaviour from a hazard perspective. This has led to collaborations with a broad range of geochemists and geophysicists working from mantle to ionosphere and beyond. Before joining Oxford she was a research council fellow at the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology and a Royal Society research fellow. As well as her role with the Geochemical Society, she sits on the AGU Committee on International Participation, the Natural Environment Research Council Science Board in the UK and is an editor of Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

Helen Pilcher was a stand-up comedian for more than ten years, before the arrival of children meant she couldn’t physically stay awake beyond 9pm. During this time, she performed at the Edinburgh comedy festival, at London’s Comedy Store, and at various smoky pubs and clubs across Britain. In 2002, she teamed up with fellow comedian Timandra Harkness to write and perform ‘The Comedy Research Project’. Unusually, Helen is also a professional science writer, with a PhD in stem-cell biology. She was formerly a journalist for Nature online, specialising in genetics; before that, she ran the Science in Society programme at the Royal Society, and before that, she worked as a senior scientist for a biotechnology company, engineering a series of human stemcell lines for transplantation into damaged human brains, this following on from her doctoral research into stem-cell therapy for Alzheimer’s disease.



To book your place please email or call +44(0)20 7670 2950.

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