Family Fun Day: The language of life

Arrive any time between 11.00am and 4.00pm, Saturday 17 February

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

This event has already taken place

  • Blowing things up in the name of science!

    Credit: Paul Wilkinson
  • 2017 Christmas Lecturer Prof Sophie Scott

    Credit: Paul Wilkinson
  • Type

    Family Fun Day
  • Audience

    Ages 7+

  • Speakers


Standard £16

Concessions £10

Ri Members £7

Ri Young Members FREE!

Event description

Get hands-on with the 2017 CHRISTMAS LECTURES at this season’s Family Fun Day. Drop in for an action-packed day of talks, demonstrations and experiments that explore the intriguing world of communication. Download the full programme here.

Family Fun Day activities are suitable for 6-12 year olds though older and younger siblings are also very welcome. All under 18-year olds must be accompanied by an adult. 

Entrance for Ri Young Members is free, but please book your free place.


Sophie Scott - The language of Life
11.30am, 1.15pm, 2.45pm
2017 Christmas Lecturer Sophie Scott will take us on a whistle stop tour of her favourite bits from this year's CHRISTMAS LECTURES. From why we laugh, to how animals communicate without sound, Sophie will cover all there is to know about one of the keys to animal life: communication.

Fire, fun and failures - inside the CHRISTMAS LECTURES
12.15pm, 2.00pm, 3.30pm
The CHRISTMAS LECTURES are famous for their exciting and inventive use of demonstrations to bring to life scientific principles. Join Natasha Simons, the Royal Institution’s Science Content Developer, as she recreates some of the fire, fun and failures that went into making the 2017 Christmas Lectures.


Activities on the day will explore the wide ranging science behind human and animal communication. Have a go at stridulating like a cricket, see if you can hide your disgust and make light with chemicals and much more. With around 20 different activities and demonstrations to take part in, there is something for all the family to enjoy!

Activities will also be run by our partners The Royal Veterinary College, The Linnean Society, Chelsea Physic Garden, Thomas Pocklington Trust and What's in a voice?.

Please note

All children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a ticket-holding adult.

More details regarding the talks and activities at the event will be released in the coming weeks.

We advise booking tickets in advance because we have been known to sell out up to a week before the event.

About the Speakers

Sophie Scott  is at University College London (UCL), where her special interest is in researching the neuroscience of voices, speech and laughter. Sophie’s research investigates the neural basis of vocal communication – how our brains process the information in speech and voices and how our brains control the production of our voice. Sophie is also interested in the expression of emotion in the voice. In particular, her research in recent years has focused on the neuroscience of laughter. Sophie has a long held affection for the Royal Institution, having watched the CHRISTMAS LECTURES herself as a child, and strongly believes in its educational outreach, particularly for less advantaged children.

Natasha Simons is the Science Content Developer at the Royal Institution, and worked together with the rest of the Ri team to help develop this year’s Lectures. She has worked for the Science Museum, developing and delivering a range of shows and workshops, and organised the 2017 British Science Festival with the BSA. She also works as a freelance science presenter and busker, and has exploded over 1000 balloons in the name of science!

Become a member

Benefit from free and better than half-price tickets, special offers and access to the CHRISTMAS LECTURES ticket ballot.

Join todayGo