Do we need friends? That is the question that Professor Neil McCrae will be asking at the Royal Institution’s Cafe Scientifique as he leads a discussion inspired by his research into the social brain and the benefits to animals of social behaviour. 6:30 – 8pm; entrance is free and all are welcome to attend and encouraged to participate in discussion.
A really big name in world science comes to London: Professor Rolf-Dieter Heuer, Director General of CERN. Speaking at the Royal Society, Professor Heuer will take a look at the big picture of the Large Hadron Collider, showing some of the most promising results so far. The event is free and open to all; tickets are first come, first served with doors opening 5:30 for 6pm. If you can’t make it, the event will be live streamed on the Royal Society website and the recording available later in the week.
Mark Henderson, Head of Communications at the Wellcome Trust and former Science Editor of The Times has written a new book called The Geek Manifesto, all about the relationship between science and politics, and he will be at Waterstones in Gower Street to discuss it. 6:30pm; £3.
As it is the last Wednesday of the month it means Science Museum Lates is back and the special theme is Music and Science. Special guest Jonny Berliner, scientific singer-songwriter, will be leading a busking special, so if you have more musical talent than me, bring your instrument and join in! Free, but some activities, including the busking, are limited spaces, so make sure to sign up when you arrive. 6:45 – 10pm.
A cross disciplinary one for Thursday evening; art, philosophy, science and anthropology come together to look at the anthropocene, a new-ish term based on the theory than human activity has so altered the planet that we have entered a new geological age. This panel discussion concludes a ten day artistic endeavour by artist Gabo Guzzo and features Dutch Nobel prize winning atmospheric chemist Paul J. Crutzen. This event makrks the opening of the exhibition and will be held at the gallery, Banner Repeater, Platform 1, Hackney Downs railway station, London E8 1LA. 7-9pm.
Alternatively, the Fortean Society looks at the scientific, cultural and historical side of mermaids. With Paolo Viscardi (Horniman Museum) and Ross MacFarlane (Wellcome Library). 7:30 for 8pm; £3 entry to the Bell pub near Liverpool Street.
History of Science meets modern science communication on Friday with, Balloons and Bombshells – The Science Behind the Spectacle of Vauxhall Gardens. Vauxhall Gardens were once famous for their spectacular theatre shows, using science to create illusions and spectacles. Tim Jones will look back at their history, asking whether the arts and sciences were once much closer. 7pm at the Foundling Museum; tickets £10
You can follow nature.com blog’s London Google calendar of events at http://blogs.nature.com/london/2011/05/17/scientific-events-calendar. Updated daily.
As well as our regularly maintained calendar, you can find lots of other suggestions of science-y events in London. We have compiled a list of some other places to look: we will continue adding to this list, and please do, as always, send us additions for it:
Collections and calendars
Londonist recommendations: All things scientific, technical and geeky
Ian Visits: A calendar of all types of events in London, including science and engineering, with added editorial
Museums, societies etc:
Wellcome Collection: Regular events and exhibitions of a medical flavour at the Wellcome Collection on Euston Road
Royal Institution: Miscellaneous science and policy events
Royal Society: Science, policy and conferences
ZSL: Zoological Society of London; occasional events on conservation and zoology
Hunterian Museum: Part of the Royal College of Surgeons, with a treasure trove of specimens and surgical paraphenalia
University calendars (usually featuring dozens of events per week)