Seven days in science – 15 July 2010

16 July 2010

For more details on the Pepys tour visit the St. Olave's Church webpage.

There were two major announcements at the Society this week. Nobel laureate Sir Paul Nurse has been confirmed as President Elect of the Royal Society. Following in the footsteps of luminaries such as Isaac Newton, Samuel Pepys and Christopher Wren he will take up the post of President on 1 December 2010. And Dr Julie Maxton has been appointed as the new Executive Director of the Royal Society - she will succeed Stephen Cox who will step down in early 2011. 

The Royal Society launched a major new study of global population on Monday (12 July). The Society concluded that it is time for a comprehensive review of the science, looking at the extent to which population will be a significant variable in rates of progress towards sustainable economic and social development over the next thirty years and beyond.

Sustainability issues were up for discussion at the Kavli Royal Society International Centre discussion meeting 'The sustainable planet' this week, where it was reported that climate change, globalisation and reduced resources will have a negative effect on global health as they cause the evolution, emergence and spread of diseases.

The Capital Science series "See further with science" at the The British Museum comes to a close next week as the final talk, on the Hebrew Astrolabe, is set to take place on Tuesday (20 July). In another Capital Science event, London Landscapes starts at the London Transport Museum next week (24 July - 29 August) as families are invited to join in with experiments and challenges in the "Creative Kids Engineering Academy".

A new study has found that gorillas react to games of tag the same way that humans would - by trying to maintain their advantage when they've got the upper hand. The research, published in this weeks' Royal Society journal Biology Letters, investigates the way that gorillas respond to unequal social situations during 'tag' chases and play fights.