Our Previous Programmes


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Events held in 2017-2018

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Friends Science Tour @ Space agencies, Darmstadt

Wednesday 4th October 2017
to Sunday 8th October 2017

Wednesday 4th October 2017
to Sunday 8th October 2017

Professor David Southwood, Chair of UK Space Agency, Past President of the Royal Astronomical Society; Dr Rolf Densing, Director ESOC; Alain Ratier, Director EUMETSAT

Tour of the European Space Operations Centre, ESOC; the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Studies, Weather Satellite Agency, EUMETSAT; GSI Heavy Ion Accelerator and the Hessisches Landesmuseum. Temporarily Closed Pending determination of the Ticket Price.

Cyber security: today's reality and tomorrow's possibilities

Tuesday 10th October 2017

Tuesday 10th October 2017

Professor Nick Jennings CB FREng Vice Provost (Research) Head of Research Strategy at Imperial College London, Chair of Artificial Intelligence and previous Government advisor 

Cyber security is central to ensuring society can function effectively and make the most of digital technologies. However, keeping computer systems safe and secure is a major challenge, as evidenced by the almost daily stories of information breaches and cyber-attacks. Moreover, the situation will become ever more challenging as ever more devices on our bodies, in our home, at our work and embedded in our national infrastructure are networked.

Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).

Behind-the-Scenes @ Imperial College Hackspace

Wednesday 25th October 2017

Wednesday 25th October 2017

Martin Watmough, Manager, Imperial College Advanced Hackspace 

Friends is forming a group of Members to encourage student invention by providing Project Boost Grants to support their ideas. 

Why we remember some things and forget others

Tuesday 7th November 2017

Tuesday 7th November 2017

Dr Claudia Clopath, Head of the Computational Neuroscience Laboratory, Lecturer in Bio Engineering

Gaining a better understanding of the brain is an urgent challenge in our society, due to higher incidence of neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Models that mimic the brain and the results of experiments work hand-in-hand to provide greater understanding.

Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).

Hormone harmony: hunger and sex

Thursday 23rd November 2017

Thursday 23rd November 2017

Waljit Dhillo, Professor in Endocrinology & Metabolism, Imperial College London

Our understanding of how different hormones trigger reactions in the brain has led to the development of 'hunger hormones' that limit people's desire for food on the one hand and on the other hormones which control reproduction and will lead to potential new treatments for infertility.

Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).

Friends Science visit @ Winton Mathematics Gallery, Science Museum (2pm)

Wednesday 29th November 2017

Wednesday 29th November 2017

Professor Igor Aleksander FREng, Emeritus Professor of Neural Systems Engineering, Dr David Rooney, Keeper of Technologies and Engineering, Science Museum

PLEASE NOTE TIME CHANGED AND THERE ARE TWO SEPARATE EVENT SESSIONS. THIS EVENT SESSION starts at 2pm for 15 people on a gallery tour at 2pm - 2.45pm, then finishes with a lecture in College at 3pm - 4.15pm. The gallery tells the story of how mathematics has shaped our world spanning 400 years of human ingenuity bringing mathematical history to life through the design and architecture of its displays. It includes WISARD a neural pattern recognition system designed by Prof Aleksander.

Friends Science visit @ Winton Mathematics Gallery, Science Museum (3pm)

Wednesday 29th November 2017

Wednesday 29th November 2017

Professsor Igor Aleksander FREng, Emeritus Professor of Neural Systems Engineering, Dr David Rooney, Keeper of Technologies and Engineering, Science Museum

PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE TWO SEPARATE EVENT SESSIONS. THIS EVENT SESSION starts at 3pm for 15 people with a lecture in College at at 3pm - 4.15pm, then a gallery tour at 4.30pm - 5.15pm.   The gallery tells the story of how mathematics has shaped our world spanning 400 years of human ingenuity bringing mathematical history to life through the design and architecture of its displays. It includes WISARD a neural pattern recognition system designed by Prof Aleksander.

Friends of Imperial College AGM

Tuesday 5th December 2017

Tuesday 5th December 2017

Roderick Rhys Jones Chairman

Asteroid impact: life after death

Tuesday 5th December 2017

Tuesday 5th December 2017

Professor Joanna Morgan, Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Co-chief Scientist on IODP-ICDP Expedition 364: Drilling Chicxulub

Drilling the Chicxulub impact crater has led to a better understanding of the formation of large impact craters and the subsurface of other planetary bodies. The study revealed that large impacts may be catastrophic (as Chicxulub was to the dinosaurs) but could also have provided a habitat for early life on Earth.

Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).

Mars: delirium, delight and disasters

Thursday 11th January 2018

Thursday 11th January 2018

Professor David Southwood, Chair of UK Space Agency, Senior Research Investigator Department of Physics, past Director of Science and Robotic Exploration at the European Space Agency

A personal view of the exploration of Mars having worked on Russian/Soviet, US as well as European Mars programmes. With some insights into Cassini's triumphant descent to Saturn as observed by Professor Southwood at NASA.

Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).

China: From imitation to innovation

Wednesday 24th January 2018

Wednesday 24th January 2018

George S Yip, Professor of Marketing and Strategy, Imperial College Business School

China is moving aggressively from imitation to innovation. How should Western businesses prepare for this tidal wave and ride it? What messages are there for Chinese companies? Professor Yip author of China's Next Strategic Advantage explains.

Quantum Circus

Wednesday 7th February 2018

Wednesday 7th February 2018

Dr Simon Foster and students from the Controlled Quantum Dynamics Group, Imperial College London

Join us for this popular show staged by students each year to explain all you really need to know about the peculiarities of quantum physics - and some. This is a favourite with school groups!

Hyperloop in Britain

Wednesday 21st February 2018

Wednesday 21st February 2018

Sir Peter Michael and friends

Serial entrepreneur and member of Friends Sir Peter Michael Chairs Direct City Networks 300, a UK company seeking to exploit Hyperloop, the ultra high speed transport system, pioneered by Elon Musk, that could shrink time travel between the cities and centres of the UK.

Maths versus microbes: fighting smarter against epidemics

Thursday 1st March 2018

Thursday 1st March 2018

Professor Steven Riley, Professor of Infectious Disease Dynamics, School of Public Health

It is with some considerable reluctance that we have decided to postpone this event, prompted by the weather conditions and the concerns already expressed by some members about getting back home after the lecture.

Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).

Understanding gravity at all scales

Tuesday 20th March 2018

Tuesday 20th March 2018

Dr Claudia de Rham, Reader in Theoretical Cosmology, Department of Physics

What do we know about the force of gravity? Does its behaviour change throughout the universe? What is causing the Universe to expand at an accelerating rate? Can we explain our observations without dark energy? What are the implications from the recent direct detection of gravitational waves on our understanding of gravity and our universe?

Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).

The secret life of flies

Tuesday 17th April 2018

Tuesday 17th April 2018

Dr Erica McAlister Senior Curator, Diptera, Natural History Museum, Imperial College London Alumnus

The NHM curating team looks after a collection of four million flies. Author, and explorer Dr McAlister's natural enthusiasm, deep knowledge and ability to tell a good story will introduce us to flies without wings, eyes on stalks, extraordinarily able brains and rotating genitalia. Flies may never appear to us the same again!

Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).

Friends Science Visit @ Diamond Light, Harwell

Thursday 19th April 2018

Thursday 19th April 2018

A Behind-the-Scenes visit to Diamond Light Source, Harwell, the UK's national synchrotron science facility located at Harwell Science and Innovation Park, Oxfordshire.

The Diamond Light synchrotron is half a kilometre in circumference, and produces very intense beams of X-rays, infrared and ultraviolet light that are used to carry out research into fundamental particles.

Meet the Writers at Imperial Festival

Saturday 28th April 2018
to Sunday 29th April 2018

Saturday 28th April 2018
to Sunday 29th April 2018

This year Friends are organising an illuminating series of talks at Imperial Festival, ‘Meet the Writers’, on Saturday 28 April as part of this free annual event.

State of the Universe address 2018

Tuesday 15th May 2018

Tuesday 15th May 2018

Professor Michael Duff FRS, 2017 Paul Dirac Gold Medallist Institute of Physics, Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics and Senior Research Investigator

Bringing together the strands of what we know about our Universe, what we have recently discovered, how new findings fit into the standard model, what is not yet proven experimentally and what we have yet to discover.

Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).