Gravitational waves and beyond: In conversation with Sheila Rowan

7.30pm to 8.45pm, Tuesday 17 April

The Theatre

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

This event has already taken place

  • Artist’s illustration of two merging neutron stars.

    Credit: NSF/LIGO/Sonoma State University/A. Simonnet


Free for Ri Patrons,
Standard £16,
Concession £10,
Ri Members £7

Event description

Join us for an in conversation event with Scotland's Chief Scientific Advisor. After contributing to one of the most significant scientific breakthroughs of this century, Sheila Rowan will provide insight into her team's future work on gravitational waves

This event is part of our 'Ri Patrons present' series. With the support of the Ri Patron community, we are pleased to present this monthly series of fascinating events bringing together science and society. Following the event, Ri Patrons have the opportunity to meet the speakers and learn more about their research.

To learn more about supporting the Ri through patronage, please email us at

About the speaker

Prof Sheila Rowan MBE was appointed Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland in June 2016. Sheila also remains Director of the Institute for Gravitational Research, University of Glasgow, a position she has held since 2009. She received an MBE in 2011.

The research of her Institute is focused on developments relevant to the international network of gravitational wave detectors, including upgrades to the US LIGO observatories, carried out between 2010 and 2015. This research contributed to one of the most significant scientific breakthroughs of this century: the first detection of gravitational waves, announced in February 2016 in the 100th anniversary year of their prediction by Albert Einstein. This discovery has opened up an entirely new field of physical science – that of ‘gravitational astronomy’ – enabling the study of black holes and other exotic phenomena far out in our Universe.


Please note that this event begins a half-hour later than a standard Ri public event.

The doors will open at approximately 7.00pm, with a prompt start at 7.30pm. There will be time for questions after the talk.

Latecomers will be admitted to the gallery.

Following the talk, Ri Patrons are invited to a speaker's drinks reception in the library.

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About 'Ri Patrons present'