Citizen Aid as the new development?

At sites of poverty across the world, ordinary citizens take matters into their own hands to support others in need, channelling private funds towards individual causes. As ‘private aid’ around the world is growing, Anne-Meike Fechter discusses whether this spells the end of official ‘development’ as we know it.

A fragrant future 

Our sense of smell is deeply connected with structures in our brain relating to our instincts, emotions and memories. Emanuela Maggioni details how new devices and systems are allowing us to interact with technology and each each other using scent. Discover the potential applications of this emerging technology from smell-o-vision to immersive multisensory experiences. This … Continued

Stars in your eyes

A technique developed by astronomers to see clear images of stars is revolutionising eye care. Karen Hampson demonstrates how individual cells in the eye can be clearly imaged, allowing for diagnosis of disease several years earlier than current routine tests, and the new discoveries about eye health.

Your 500-million-year family tree 

Humans are just one of over 50,000 vertebrate species descended from a common ancestor that lived over 500 million years ago. Fortunately, there are lots of fossils that bridge this large gap in time; by studying them using state-of-the-art X-Ray microscopes Joseph Keating examines how vertebrate bodies have evolved bit-by-bit.

The winner shouldn’t take it all

Exceptional performances tend to occur in exceptional circumstances, but people often mistake luck for skill when evaluating these outliers. This has led Chengwei Liu to argue that perhaps we should be rewarding second place. With evidence from the sporting world and business, Chengwei ponders that skill, in the face of luck, may not be all … Continued

20,000 years pre-Brexit: human evolution in Europe 

How have the genetics of human populations in Europe changed in the last 20,000 years and why? In this interactive event, explore the genetics of prehistoric Europeans as revealed through ancient DNA analysis, addressing questions about recent evolution in our species and the effects of large-scale population movements.

Why all scientists should read Gulliver’s Travels

2017 marks 350 years since the birth of the author Jonathan Swift, whose works often contemplated the ‘scientific revolution’ which occurred during his lifetime. Greg Lynall demonstrates how Swift’s satirical fantasy, Gulliver’s Travels can help us to understand science and its role in modern society. This event is supported by Novartis.

Does mindfulness really help people thrive? 

Is mindfulness training like a physical exercise that will improve our health and well being? This is a frequent comparison, but how far can it be stretched? Join Julieta Galante to discuss the evidence available and explore its most critical issues before you decide to get ‘mindful’.

Understanding the voices in your head

Everyone hears a voice in their head: their own inner speech. But some people hear voices from elsewhere when no-one is speaking. This can be distressing and associated with psychosis, or a positive and spiritual experience. What are these experiences like, and what can psychology and neuroscience tell us about them?

Quantum leap: building the world’s fastest computer

Earlier this year, a group of researchers led by Winfried Hensinger unveiled the first realistic blueprint for the construction of a large-scale quantum computer. Through live demonstrations, hear and visualise how this exciting breakthrough has transformed quantum computing from a theoretical concept to a technology with the potential to solve problems a billion times quicker … Continued