London Institute


Upcoming Event:
Monday, 26 January 2015
Registration: A. Tingey, £300 for the series

The Grand Tour of Science
modern science in seven lectures

Mondays 18:30-20:30
26 January to 23 March, 2015

Upcoming Event: 26 Jan 2015

Registration: A. Tingey, £300 for the series

The Grand Tour of Science
modern science in seven lectures

Mondays 18:30-20:30
26 January to 23 March, 2015

The Grand Tour of Science
26 Jan 2015:

Lecture 1: Classical Quantitative Science


Dr Robert Farr, Unilever/LIMS





  • The hypothesis-prediction-experiment loop
  • Tycho Brahe and the role of data
  • The scientific revolution of the 17th century
  • Physics from Galileo to Maxwell
  • The character of physical laws


Robert Farr read physics at Cambridge (UK), where he won the Clerk Maxwell University Prize for top physicist of his year, then sat the Mathematical Tripos Part III. He did his PhD at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge with Robin Ball. He then became senior research scientist at Unilever R&D, initially in the UK, then briefly in New Jersey, and now divides his time between the UK and the Netherlands.

The Grand Tour of Science
02 Feb 2015:

Lecture 2: Revolutions in Mathematics


Dr Thomas Fink, LIMS/CNRS





  • Non-integer dimensions and scale invariance
  • Riemannian geometry
  • Groups and crystals
  • Aperiodicity and Godel incompleteness
  • Turing machines and non-computability


Thomas Fink studied physics at Caltech, where he won the Fisher Prize for top physicist, and did his PhD at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge with Robin Ball. He was a Junior Fellow at Caius College, Cambridge, and a postdoc at Ecole Normale Superieure with Bernard Derrida. He is currently a Charge de Recherche in physics in the French CNRS and Director of the London Institute for Mathematical Sciences.

The Grand Tour of Science
09 Feb 2015:

Lecture 3: Relativity and the Universe


Prof Andrew Green, UCL





  • The Michelson-Morley experiment
  • Problems with Maxwell's theory
  • Principles of special relativity
  • Cosmology and the structure of the universe
  • General relativity, impact on our world view


Andrew Green did his PhD at Oxford with Alexei Tsvelik, followed by a Lindemann Fellowship at Princeton, a Junior Research Fellowship in Trinity College, Cambridge, and a Royal Society URF in Oxford. From 2003 he was at St Andrews, as Lecturer, Reader and finally Professor. He is currently an EPSRC Leadership Fellow, and became Professor in Theoretical Physics at University College London in 2011

The Grand Tour of Science
02 Mar 2015:

Lecture 4: Quantum Theory


Prof Chris Pickard, UCL/LIMS





  • Conundrums of the atom and black-body radiation
  • Wave mechanics and matrix mechanics
  • Heisenberg's uncertainty principle
  • Discovery of anti-matter
  • Quantum information and materials science


Chris Pickard studied physics at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge and has worked in Cambridge (UK), the National Center for High Performance Computing (Taiwan) and the Universities of Kiel (Germany), Paris 6/7 (France), and St Andrews (Scotland). He is currently an ESPRC Leadership Fellow, and was appointed in 2009 to a Professorship in Physics at University College London.

The Grand Tour of Science
09 Mar 2015:

Lecture 5: DNA and the Human Genome


Prof Brian Sutton, KCL





  • What is life?
  • The beginnings of molecular biology
  • Crystals, symmetry and X-ray crystallography
  • Discovery of the structure of DNA
  • Towards synthetic biology


Brian Sutton studied Chemistry and did his PhD in Molecular Biophysics in Oxford. He held a Royal Society Howe Junior Research Fellowship, a Royal Society University Research Felowship (both in Oxford), and a Nuffield Foundation Research Fellowship (in London). He moved to the Randall Division of King's College London in 1986, where he is now Professor of Molecular Biophysics.

The Grand Tour of Science
16 Mar 2015:

Lecture 6: High Energy Physics






Prof Neil Lambert, KCL





  • The standard model: particles and interactions
  • The Higgs and its mysteries
  • Problems and puzzles
  • Unification and supersymmetry
  • Superstrings and M-theory


Neil Lambert studied Mathematics and Physics in Toronto, and did his PhD in String Theory and Branes with Paul Townsend in Cambridge in 1996. He held research positions at King's College London, the ENS in Paris, and Rutgers University in the US, a PPARC Advanced Fellowship, and he spends frequent periods at CERN as staff physicist. In 2009 he was appointed Professor of Theoretical Physics at King's College London.

The Grand Tour of Science
23 Mar 2015:

Lecture 7: The Science of Information








Prof Mark Girolami, Warwick





  • Shannon's information theory
  • Bayesian versus maximum likelihood statistics
  • The problem of `big data'
  • True patterns versus overfitting
  • Modern information-driven medicine


Mark Girolami did his PhD in Computer Science in Glasgow, then worked at IBM, HUT (Helsinki), RIKEN (Tokyo), and held Professorships in Computational Intelligence at Paisley and Glasgow. He held EPSRC Advanced and Established Career Research Fellowships, and became Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2011. Mark was appointed Professor of Statistics at UCL in 2010, and at Warwick University in 2014.