How to grow a human

7.00pm to 8.30pm, Friday 31 May

The Theatre

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

This event has already taken place

  • Credit: Maximilian Paradiz via Flickr

Price

Standard £16

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Concession £10

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Ri Members and Ri Patrons £7

Event description

After seeing his own cells used to grow clumps of new neurons that assembled themselves into a ‘mini-brain’ in a dish, Philip Ball began to examine the concept of identity and how it is rooted in our flesh and cells. Join Philip as he discusses the new technologies of cell reprogramming that were used to make his "brain in a dish", and how these reveal the astonishing plasticity of our flesh, enabling one body part (or perhaps an entire body?) to be grown from a scraping of another. Whether or not these methods will indeed lead to new ways to 'grow a human', they already raise profound questions about who we are and how we came into being.

About the speaker

Philip Ball is a freelance science writer. He worked previously at Nature for over 20 years, first as an editor for physical sciences (for which his brief extended from biochemistry to quantum physics and materials science) and then as a Consultant Editor. His writings on science for the popular press have covered topical issues ranging from cosmology to the future of molecular biology.

The event will be introduced by Sara Abdulla, Chief Opinion Editor at Nature.

Timing

The doors will open at approximately 6.30pm, with a prompt start at 7.00pm.

Latecomers will be admitted to the gallery.

Filming

This event will be filmed and on the Ri's YouTube channel within a few months. Subscribe for free to hear when new videos are released.

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 email and we’ll be more than happy to help. Email: events@ri.ac.uk.

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

Our theatre is equipped with an Audio Induction Loop. 

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