From Galvani to Gigafactories: how batteries have tamed electricity to power the modern world

7.00pm to 8.30pm, Wednesday 13 October

Theatre Only

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

This event has already taken place

  • 'Giga Nevada': a battery factory in the US. Credit: Smnt, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


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Event description

Today, we take the easy availability of electric power for granted. From the phone in our pocket to the car charging in our garage, the modern world would be unthinkable without electricity and the batteries we rely on to deliver portable power. 

But the technology we rely on has its roots in the incredible work of scientists over the past 300 years. From the battery to the electric motor (which celebrates its 200 year anniversary in 2021), breakthroughs made in previous centuries continue to inform our technology today. 

Join Paul Shearing as he tells the story of how the ability to store energy is continuing to shape the world we live in.

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Event type

This is a theatre event, where the speaker and audience are together in our theatre.

This event will not be livestreamed.

Please note that we are following Government and Public Health England advice, as we have been throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and will continue to review our approach as that guidance changes.

At the moment we are asking event attendees to continue following steps to make the Ri Covid-secure, such as wearing a face covering.

About the speaker

Paul Shearing's research interests are in electrochemical engineering – the study and design of electrochemical processes in devices including fuel cells, batteries and electrochemical reactors. He is involved in a wide range of projects which include understanding and development of batteries, fuel cells and other electrochemical processes. Paul holds the Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Battery Technologies, and leads the LiSTAR project under the auspices of The Faraday Institution.  

He have published more than 240 peer reviewed papers in this area over the past 5 years, and has delivered over 100 invited talks on five continents. Paul's research makes extensive use of synchrotron radiation and he has successfully conducted experiments at most of the world's major lightsources.


Doors to the theatre will open for at 6.30pm The event will begin at 7.00pm. 

Please arrive in good time as there may be a wait to be seated according to social distancing rules.

The Royal Institution is part of the Amazon Affiliate Programme and book links on this page are affiliate links, which means it won't cost you any extra but we may earn a small commission if you decide to purchase through the link. All proceeds help support the charitable work of the Ri. Affiliate disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate The Royal Institution earns from qualifying purchases.

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