Join us at Stanfords as Helen Scales talks about her new book 11 Explorations into Life on Earth.
Helen will be talking about interviewing lecturers including David Attenborough and Richard Dawkins, accessing the RI's amazing archives and finding out about the most unusual creatures - from jaguars and sloths to chimps and knife-fish - who have been introduced to spellbound young audiences. She'll also spill behind-the-scenes secrets about the most amazing experiments, badly-behaved animal co-stars and nervous lecturers.
The Royal Institution’s Christmas lectures have seen a succession of eminent speakers fill the RI’s iconic Faraday Lecture Theatre and unlock for their spellbound young audiences - and, today, viewers worldwide - the secrets of science. This beautiful hardback volume examines eleven of the past century’s most exciting lectures on the natural world.
From Sir Peter Chalmers Mitchell introducing the audience to a jaguar in 1911, through sleepy sloths and snapping alligators to Desmond Morris’s ingenious chimpanzees, 11 Explorations into Life on Earth is crammed with extraordinary plant and animal life and amazing facts. The book also details some of the lecturer’s experiments - from demonstrating the knifefish’s electric navigation pulse to Richard Dawkins swinging a metal cannonball at his own face - with behind the scenes tales, archive material, photographs and interviews with many of the speakers.
Did you know? Blackbirds have regional accents. Rhea babies communicate with each other from inside their eggs. A startled trout accelerates at 95mph. Bees dance to tell their hive-mates the exact location of flowers. Plants issue a warning system to others nearby when munched on by caterpillars.
Dr Helen Scales is a marine biologist, broadcaster and writer, appearing regularly on BBC Radio 4 and Sky News. She is scientific advisor to the charity Sea Changers, a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a tutor at the University of Cambridge. Her book, Spirals in Time, was broadcast as Book of the Week on Radio 4.