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Ri Lates: Life and death

Enjoy workshops, talks, food and drink at this sociable night for adults only exploring questions of life and death.

Lates visitors dissecting ox hearts
Katherine Leedale

Event description

How did life first begin, and could it be found elsewhere in the Universe? What makes something alive and how does this change as we age? Explore these questions about life and death at our hands-on event throughout our building. Enjoy workshops, talks, food and drink at this sociable night for adults only.

Download your programme for the night!

Please note

This event is for over-18s only. If you look younger than 21, you may be asked for ID at the door.


Astrobiology - the hunt for alien lifeWhat is 'life' and how did it emerge on our own world? What are the most extreme conditions terrestrial life can tolerate? And where in the cosmos might we reasonably expect to find ET? Join Lewis Dartnell on a tour of the other planets and moons in our solar system which may harbour life, and to alien worlds we've discovered orbiting distant stars, to explore one of the greatest questions ever asked: are we alone...?

The pathology of deathHow do we die? It will happen to everyone, but death remains one of the most enigmatic parts of the human experience. What actually happens to the human body during death? How do doctors diagnose death? Dr Thomas Millner, pathologist at the Royal London Hospital, will look at the physical process of dying, from last breath to autopsy.

Ugly extinctionWhy should the panda get all the praise? The Ugly Animal Preservation Society is dedicated to raising the profile of the world’s most aesthetically challenged endangered species. Join Simon Watt from the Ugly Animal Preservation Society to discuss the biology of some of the planets least pretty creatures.


The scent of deathHave you ever thought to create semi-palatable perfumes representing different stages of death and decomposition? Probably not. But if you dare, join forensic anthropologist Dr Anna Williams and smell the concoctions, learning about decompostion along the way.

Bring a dead laptop back to life with The Restart Project Laptops can get dead slow over time, and are routinely killed by software updates. Learn how you can bring them back to life using a solid-state drive running a free and open source operating system using demo equipment for you to try and test. The Restart Project is a social enterprise that empowers people to use their electronics longer in order to reduce waste. 

Toxic cocktailsDo you know what poisons are present in your everyday life, and in the food and drink we consume? Join a team from ArtNecro who will create cocktails from their poison menu, explaining the toxicity of everyday items.

Death jarsVisit Carla Valentine from Barts Pathology museum and see her selection of specimens, and pickled parts. Explore the art and science of pathology, learning why the study of death is so important.

Turing testCan you tell a robot from a human? Have a go at chatting in our Turing test booth to find out how intelligent the artificial can be.

Quantum KillerNature at the very smallest sizes behaves very differently to the way us large, macroscopic humans experience the world. When unobserved they pass through space as a mixture of possible futures and behaviours; known as the wavefunction. Join Dr Ben Still and Justas Motuzas for an interactive design installation where you kill wavefunctions and piece together data to see what is happening in the quantum world.

Participating organisations

Anatomical Society, ArtNecro, Barts Pathology Museum, Queen Mary University of London, The Restart Project, The Royal London Hospital, Royal Veterinary College, The Ugly Animal Preservation Society, University of Huddersfield, University of Leicester