Seven days in science - 10 June 2010

10 June 2010

Explore Hans Sloane’s fascinating medicine garden at the Royal College of Physicians this weekend (12-13 June).

Visitors to this Local Heroes event will discover the plants that physicians, especially Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753), used during the past centuries to the present day.

The Society announced the winners of its 2010 Awards, Medals, Royal Medals and lectures on Wednesday (9 June). Among those recognised were Sir David Cox FRS and Dr Tomas Lindahl FRS who were awarded the world’s oldest prize for scientific achievement, the Copley medal.

Snake numbers around the world are declining according to new research. The research published this week in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters highlighted the harmless ‘Smooth snake’ (Coronella austriaca), which is native to the UK,among those species whose numbers are decreasing.

Professor Robert Webster FRS, St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, USA, will give the 2010 Leeuwenhoek prize lecture on the subject of pandemic influenza viruses on Tuesday (15 June). Professor Webster’s talk will explore the challenge of predicting pandemics, the use of anti-influenza drugs and the improvement of vaccines.

As the World Cup is set to kick off, the legacy of former FA chairman Sir Harold Thompson FRS will be discussed at the Society on Friday (11 June). 

The second of the 2010 Reith lectures ‘Surviving the Century’ aired on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday (8 June) at 9am. Martin Rees discussed the challenges facing science in the 21st century, exploring the problems and some of the ways that science might be able to solve them. Podcasts of the first two lectures are available for download now. The third lecture in the series will air on Tuesday (15 June) at 9am on BBC Radio 4.

The Society’s new exhibition ‘The Royal Society: 350 Years of Science’ opened to the public on Monday (7 June). Visitors can see an array of important historical pieces - including Robert Boyle’s 17th century scientific wishlist and Isaac Newton’s reflecting telescope – and encounter major scientific personalities and discoveries as they tour the Royal Society’s Carlton House Terrace. Visits by appointment only.

Tickets are now available for See Further: The Festival of Science + Arts, a unique ten-day festival filling every corner of London’s Southbank Centre, featuring the Royal Society’s annual Summer Science Exhibition and a host of cross-disciplinary collaborations, including music, dance, comedy, discussion, film, literature and art. See for more details.