Events 2017

The Royal Society – Frankenstein: Inspiring the Monster

Tuesday 21st February 2017 6:30 – 8pm – The Royal Society

Explore how this influential novel was inspired by science in the 19th century.

The tale of a curious scientist who creates a sapient but grotesque Creature in a scientific experiment gone wrong has shaped science fiction writing for generations. Written by Mary Shelley in 1818, it defined a whole new genre of literature, but what was the inspiration behind her legendary story?

Join our expert panel as we journey back to a time when using electricity was a novel concept, curiosity and research went hand in hand, and unorthodox scientific experimentation was the norm. Discover how the public perception of research and eminent scientists of the time influenced Shelley to unleash her Monster on the world.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Professor Richard Holmes, Biographer and Author
  • Professor Steve Jones FRS, Emeritus Professor of Genetics, University College London
  • Dr Kathryn Harkup, Science Communicator
  • Professor Roger Luckhurst, Professor in Modern and Contemporary Literature, Birkbeck University of London

Free to attend

Granite Noir – Poisonous High Tea

Sunday 26th February 2017 3-5pm – His Majesty’s Theatre

What could be more inviting on a chilly Sunday afternoon than a plate piled high with warm scones, pastries and dainty sandwiches, washed down with strong coffee or aromatic tea? But beware! Dr Kathryn Harkup, author of A is for Arsenic, is here to remind us that in the hands of literary Grande Dame Agatha Christie, everything on the menu could — and did — become a lethal weapon.

While you dine, Dr Harkup will talk about some of Christie’s favourite poisons, describing how the Queen of Crime deployed them, and where she found her inspiration. It all adds up to one unforgettable meal!

Tickets available here

Institute of Physics – Poisons

Wednesday 5th April – Institute of Physics

Many compounds we now consider to be poisons were once found on pharmacy shelves. Before the 20th century people often got better in spite of their doctors rather than because of them. This talk examines the chemistry behind four former medicines, and their effects on the body – with some killer case studies.

Reserve your place

Edinburgh International Science Festival

Chemistry of the Human Body

Tuesday 11th April 2017

Details to be confirmed

Light Drawing

Wednesday 12th April 2017

Details to be confirmed

An Evening of Unnecessary Detail

Tuesday 25th April 2017 – Backyard Comedy Club, Bethnal Green

An Evening of Unnecessary Detail is, in short, an event where we ask enthusiasts, scientists, miscellaneous experts* and comedians to talk about whatever they want. By attending this event, you revoke all rights to complain about the level of detail they choose to do so in.

An Evening of Unnecessary Detail is, in short, an event on the last Tuesday of every month at the Backyard Comedy Club, Bethnal Green. It is hosted by some or all of Festival of the Spoken Nerd: Matt Parker, Steve Mould and Helen Arney. Each of them have 10 letters in their names. Each show will be 10,800 seconds long. Each ticket can be bought via the links on this page.

*actual experts in miscellany

Tickets here

Chipping Campden Literary Festival – A is for Arsenic

Wednesday 10th May 2017

Details to be confirmed

Wanstead Library – A is for Arsenic

Friday 9th June 2017

Details to be confirmed

Lancashire Science Festival

29th June to 1st July 2017


Details to be confirmed


Details to be confirmed

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