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About the Royal Society

Seven days in science - 30 July 2010

30 July 2010

This weekend kicks off with the first workshop in the Capital Science series at HMS Belfast: Shipshape Science Summer Fun! Families can go on board during the summer holidays and explore the science behind ships at interactive, hands-on events (Saturday, 31 July).

On Monday (2 August) visitors to Newstead Abbey will find out all about Ada Lovelace and discover how her interest in numbers influences our lives today. Other fun activities include code-breaking and kite-making.

Then on Thursday (5 August) visitors to Eton College Natural History Museum will travel back in time to the days of Joseph Banks to discover the history of scientific exploration. Using original letters, diary entries, drawings and specimens, children will creatively learn how scientists made and recorded discoveries before the days of modern technology.

In other news this week, research published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B shows that hormonal contraceptives alter the scent of lemurs, making them less attractive to males and disrupting clues about their relationship to other group members and other genetic qualities.  The study could have worrying implications for humans who use hormonal contraceptives and may explain why some captive primates – among whom the administration of such contraceptives is becoming more frequent – show unusual patterns of aggression.