Stones from the sky: A heaven-sent opportunity to talk about science

   Michael Faraday Prize Lecture by Professor Colin Pillinger CBE FRS

Meteorites provide us with laboratory samples from distant bodies including asteroids, comets, the moon, Mars and even ancient stars. Witnesses to the extraordinary event when one is seen to fall from the sky, or anyone finding a sample on the ground, also have a story to tell. It's a potent mix for science communication, not just by scientists but to scientists.

Professor Colin Pillinger was awarded the Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize in recognition of his excellence in communicating science.

Colin Pillinger is Professor of Planetary Sciences at the Open University. His research interests include designing unique instruments to analyse extraterrestrial samples. During his forty year career he has made more than a thousand contributions to scientific literature, and also found time to be one of Britain's foremost science communicators, contributing dozens of popular articles in newspapers and magazines as well as giving hundreds of public lectures. After analysing a number of meteorites from Mars and finding tantalising evidence of the existence of life there, he conceived the Beagle 2 mission to land on the Red Planet to confirm his discoveries. Throughout the project he filled over thirty notebooks recording the daily happenings which form the basis of his autobiographical account of the mission - "My life on Mars".

Stones from the sky: A heaven-sent opportunity to talk about science 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK

Events coming up

  • Tackling the great challenges of the 21st Century 05 March 2015 at The Royal Society, London Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society in conversation with Lord Stern, President of the British Academy.
  • Suffrage Science Awards Ceremony 08 March 2015 at The Royal Society, London An evening celebrating the achievements of leading women scientists on International Women’s Day
  • Ebola: inside an epidemic 09 March 2015 at The Royal Society, London Discover the how and why of the 2014 Ebola outbreak from leading public health figures. Panel discussion chaired by Dame Sally Davies FRS.

For more events please see the events diary.