Watford Grammar School for Boys

Robert will visit Watford Grammar School for Boys on Monday 15 June to visit workshops being held at the school as part of the Research Council Schools-University Partnership Initiative.  Students from the school will be joined by pupils from other schools across the county and participate in workshops, experiments and lectures aimed at engaging students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The Watford Observer has covered Robert’s visit this week.

Imperial College Faculty of Natural Sciences London Schools Competition

Robert is delighted to have been invited once again to join the judging panel of the Imperial College London Faculty of Natural Sciences London Schools competition.

The purpose of the competition is to motivate school pupils to engage with science, to encourage them to work together as part of a team and to engage them in a fun activity that is motivated by their curiosity and drive.

The competition first ran in 2014/15, with the aim being for teams to put together a case for “The most significant scientific discovery or achievement of the last century”.

The competition will run again in 2015/16 when the aim will be for teams to identify an everyday problem that directly impacts society. They must then come up with a new and innovative scientific solution to tackle this problem and present this in the form of a short film.

An information pack with full details of the competition will be sent out to schools across Greater London in November 2015 and pre-registration will open in December 2015.

Bleehen Lecture, Cambridge

On 26 May Robert will be delivering the inaugural Bleehen Lecture at the Old Divinity School, St John’s College Cambridge.  He will be speaking on The Science of God.  The lecture is named after Professor Norman Bleehen who was the first Cancer Research Campaign professor of clinical oncology in the University of Cambridge and a fellow of St. John’s College.


Congratulations to Fern!

Congratulations to Fern Britton and all the other cyclists accompanying her on her mammoth 1100 mile ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End.  There is still time to sponsor Fern who is raising money for the Genesis Research Trust to help fund research into the causes of miscarriage.

Utterly Amazing Science short-listed for Royal Society’s Young People’s Book Prize 2015

We were delighted to hear that Utterly Amazing Science has been shortlisted for the Royal Society’s Young People’s Book Prize 2015.

The Society awards a prize each year to the best book that communicates science to young people. The prize aims to inspire young people to read about science and promotes the best science writing for the under-14s.

Publishers across the UK submitted their best recent books and an adult shortlisting panel has narrowed down the choice to a shortlist of six.

The winning book will be selected entirely by groups of young people from schools and youth groups around the UK. Each group forms a Judging Panel that looks at all the shortlisted books and chooses a winner.

Read more on the Royal Society’s website.

Visit to Newcastle College

Robert will be delivering a public lecture in Newcastle on Thursday 14 May.  This is a dual initiative of Newcastle College and the Literary and Philosophical Society with the aim of benefiting the public through facilitating free lectures by leading thinkers.  The theme of the current lecture series is “On the Edge”.  Please note that the lecture is now fully booked.

Imperial College Debating Society

Imperial College Union Debating Society’s first public debate of the year saw students debate Lord Professor Robert Winston and Bioengineering Senior Lecturer Dr Jennifer Siggers on the motion “This house believes that religion is harmful to the progress of science” in front of a packed lecture theatre.  Read more in the College’s newspaper, Felix.

Visit to Dartford Grammar School

Robert will be delivering the annual Stephenson Lecture at Dartford Grammar School.  The lecture, named after the late Head of Science at the school, Dr Brian Stephenson, will be given to around 200 pupils of the school.

Country Life: My Favourite Painting

Country Life Magazine asked Robert to talk about his favourite painting.

‘Historians suggest that Federico is always painted from the left side because of disfigurement after losing his right eye in combat.  The missing bridge of his nose is mysterious – after the injury, did he have the bridge removed surgically, to retain peripheral vision from his left eye for combat? The puzzling kyphosis, the humpback deformity depicted in various portraits, is hardly ever mentioned. Dr Antoni, the New York osteologist, argues this resulted from the weight of his armour. I am grateful to Karen Watts at the Royal Armouries museum who says his chest armour would have weighed around 26kgs; his helmet perhaps 1kg. Quite heavy – but 15th Century armour was carefully fitted being supported most evenly around the body.  And painted from the left? Some neuroscientists opine that left dominant portraits are often of individuals unconsciously wishing to show their sensitive side (controlled by the right cranial hemisphere).  Perhaps Montefeltro was a bruiser, but he ensured that Urbino be noted for courtesy, refined manners and its civilisation.’