Make, think, imagine: In conversation with Lord Browne

7.00pm to 8.30pm, Monday 21 October

The Theatre

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

This event has already taken place

  • Credit: Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons


Standard £16


Concession £10


Ri Members and Ri Patrons £7

Event description

Are robots going to take our jobs? Are decisions about our health, security and finances made by computer programmes inexplicable and biased? Has our demand for energy driven the Earth’s climate to the edge of catastrophe?

Join Lord Browne, in conversation with Vivienne Parry, as he draws on his experience as both an engineer and a business leader, as well as the ideas shared in his new book, 'Make, think, imagine: engineering the future of civilisation', as he makes a clear and compelling case for progress.

He will explain why engineering is and always has been the backbone of civilisation, outlining its growing capabilities and how it can deliver a brighter future.

About the speaker

John Browne trained as an engineer and was CEO of BP from 1995 to 2007. He is Chairman of the Crick Institute, a Fellow of the Royal Society, past President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and former Chairman of Tate. He is a collector of antique books and art and the author of four previous titles, including 'The Glass Closet'.

Vivienne Parry is a writer and broadcaster. A scientist by training, Vivienne hosts medical programmes for BBC Radio 4, writes widely on health, presents films, facilitates many high level conferences and trains young researchers. She has a part time role as Head of Engagement at Genomics England which delivered the 100,000 Genomes Project. She also sits on the board of UK Research & Innovation which is responsible for the strategic spend of the UK’s £7 billion research budget


The doors will open at approximately 6.30pm, with a prompt start at 7.00pm. There will be time for questions after the talk.

Latecomers will be admitted into the gallery.

Book signing

Copies of Lord Browne's book, 'Make, Think, Imagine: Engineering the Future of Civilisation', will be available for purchase and signing after the talk. 


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:

Carers can receive a free ticket to an event by emailing

Our theatre is equipped with an Audio Induction Loop. 

Become a member

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

Join todayGo