Begin Before Birth: Perinatal Mental Health Webinar

I am delighted to be introducing this latest conference which I think will be of huge interest to many new mums, dads and those who care for them. We ask the question “What can happen to any person before birth?” It turns out that what a baby experiences whilst still in the womb can be of great importance to health and wellbeing much later in life. This is also true of a microscopic embryo just three days after conception – while it is still invisible to the naked eye. These influences can affect growth, development and health before the mother can even know she is pregnant. The consequence may have powerful effects on a person’s health years afterwards, much later in adult life.

Our research shows that some quite common medical conditions may only present as a problem for the first time in middle age but have their genesis in the womb. These diseases may result from changes in the unborn baby’s environment. They include heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and weak bones. It seems almost unbelievable that a tiny person while yet unborn may be so sensitive. It goes further that this. Common conditions like childhood asthma and obesity – and just possibly in some cases, diabetes – may also be more likely with environmental changes. One reason why doctors advise pregnant women not to smoke and also limit the amount of alcohol they drink.

All this is not just true of physical health, but mental well-being also. Mental health problems in pregnancy and after birth affect at least one out of every five women. This last year has been extraordinary and there is no doubt that the pandemic has taken its toll on everybody. But there is no doubt that the apprehension and loneliness caused by the virus has been unprecedented. Moreover the lockdowns have greatly increased the anxiety. This webinar also gives a powerful and optimistic message. The ill effects on later life following changes in the environment in the womb are frequently reversible. But need to understand that environment better, we must recognise what is happening and understand the mechanisms.

This meeting on Zoom seeks to foster friendly, open discussion around the topic. We are fortunate to have gathered a group of world experts for this symposium and there will be plenty of time to put your questions to leading experts in the field. This discussion should be valuable for new and expectant. parents, or those trying to conceive or just thinking about a pregnancy. The webinar is chaired by Professor Vivette Glover at Imperial College London, and is hosted by the charity Genesis Research Trust which supports research into all aspects of women’s health. This meeting echoes the theme of this year’s Infant Mental Health Awareness Week: “Including Infants”.

Everyone is welcome to join us on the afternoon of June 15th. For more information, or to register, please click here.

Hay Festival 2021: Programme for Schools

Robert is delighted to be speaking as part of the Hay Festival’s programme for schools this year on  Thursday 27 May 2021 at 9am.

The 2021 programme for schools has been created especially for digital audiences with a vibrant blend of events such as, creative writing workshops, inspiring authors filmed on location, and entertaining, thought-provoking performances.

Robert will be speaking about two of his recent books, Ask a Scientist and Inventors.   Are you constantly puzzled by why certain things happen or why our bodies work in the way they do? Or have you been working on an invention during lockdown and you’re keen to hear more about some of the greatest inventors of all time – including the really obscure ones? Robert will share his favourite science stories, answer some tricky questions and explain why science is so important in our everyday life.

To read more about this year’s festival and register for events, please visit the Hay Festival website.

Spring 2021: Speaking at schools

While visiting schools in person is not currently possible, Robert is happy to address students via Zoom or other online platforms.  If you are a teacher or pupil – primary or secondary – and you would like Robert to talk to students at your school, please email Helen on  Robert does not charge a fee for speaking at schools though any donation to the Genesis Research Trust to mark the occasion is gratefully received.


24 November 2020: Alan Turing Institute talk

Robert was pleased to be a speaker at The Alan Turing Institute’s public conference, AI and data science in the age of COVID-19: Lessons learned and the way ahead.  His talk on Talking to the Public about Covid-19 is available in full.

Science Webinar: Oundle, Peterborough & East Northants Learning Partnership

The Oundle, Peterborough and East Northants (OPEN) Learning Partnership hosted a Q&A last week with renowned scientist, and member of the House of Lords, Professor Robert Winston. Lord Winston is known for his pioneering work in the study of fertility and has become a leading voice for science through presenting TV shows, including The Human Body, Child of Our Time and Walking with Cavemen.

Over one thousand primary and secondary students took part, including schools from the Ogden Trust Science Partnership and the eight schools comprising the OPEN Learning Partnership. Children asked questions which covered topics as diverse as genetics, life in outer space, the workings of the brain and even what causes hiccups.

Teagen (Sco) asked: “What is the last sense that people have when they die?”, and Laxton Junior School asked Lord Winston “Are Humans Special?” and “If you could be another animal, which would you be?”

You can watch the Q&A on the Oundle School website.


Inventors: Incredible stories of the world’s most ingenious inventions

Step into Leonard da Vinci’s workshop, relax on board Video Shima’s speedy bullet train, and join movie star Hedy Lamarr to bounce ideas around in between takes.

Inventors looks at the towering achievements of more than 50 inventors in great detail.  From Lizzie Magie, who came up with the idea for the game Monopoly, but had it stolen, to the ancient Turkish polymath Ismail al-Jazari, who decided the best way to power a clock was with a model elephant, to Richard Turere, the Maasai inventor who created a lion-scaring device when he was just 13 years old – the inventors of this ebook have all used buckets-all of creativity to find ways to improve our world.

Listen to Robert speaking about this book here

Science Squad Explains

Have you ever wondered what makes electricity?  Or what’s inside an atom?  Or how high the moon really is?  Or what light is made of and why you need it?

The Science Squad provides all the answers in this colourful, fact-packed and informative book, explaining more than 100 key STEAM concepts in a clear way that will appeal to children age five and above.

This is the perfect visual introduction to the key concepts children need to know about all things STEAM.  Each topic is explained using illustrated characters that represent science, technology, engineering, art and maths.  The second book in the Science Squad series, Science Squad Explains is an essential read for young STEAM fans.

Ask A Scientist

This fun and friendly science book for kids poses 100 real-life questions from kids to Robert Winston on every aspect of science.

Professor Robert Winston was inspired to write this kid’s book by the many questions posed by his grandchildren and school children he has met over the years. Perfect for those who always have another “why?”, Ask a Scientist injects fascinating fun into science for kids.

The inside of this book is packed with real questions that real children are asking. These questions have piled in from every corner of the world including the USA, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Europe, India, China, and Japan.

Norwich Science Festival 2019

Robert will speak at the Norwich Science Festival on Wednesday 23 October 2019 at 6.30pm. NSF-logo_RGB-1Speaking on “What Makes Us Happy: Reading the Human Mind,” the talk is at the Assembly House and includes a Q&A and book signing.  To read more and to buy tickets, please visit the Festival website