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Uncovering the complexity of doping in sport



The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG


This event is part of our series of lightning lectures at the Royal Society's Summer Science Exhibition 2019. Perfect for getting a taste of science, why not catch one (or more) of these electrifying 15 minute talks?

Summer Science Exhibition: why would an athlete risk everything by doping? Professor Sue Backhouse explains.

Allegations of doping have the immense power to rock the sporting world.

Indeed, the choice to take performance enhancing substances is often portrayed as one made by an individual with a vicious competitive streak, corrupt morals and questionable ethics. However, while the weight of victory might be one an athlete strives to bear whatever the means, new findings suggest that the reasons for doping extend beyond the individual.

Professor Sue Backhouse asks the question 'are dopers born or made?' and explores the social psychology of doping. Specifically, she considers the complex social and environmental factors that might make an athlete vulnerable to doping.

Running times

This event will run at 12.45pm and 4.15pm and last approximately 15 minutes.

Talk - admittance for our talks is first-come, first-served. Please ensure you arrive early for talks as we can get busy at the weekends and you may need to queue to get into the building.

Attending the event

  • Free to attend
  • No registration required
  • Limited spaces, admittance based on venue capacity
  • Seats allocated on a first-come, first-served basis
  • Doors open 5 minutes before start of event
  • Suitable for ages 14+
  • Travel and accessibility information - contact us directly to arrange any specific accessibility requirements
  • Food and drink will be available for purchase at our onsite café

For all enquiries, please email

Related events

Uncovering the complexity of doping in sport

Are dopers born or made? Join Professor Susan Backhouse to explore the psychology of doping and the complex social and environmental factors that might lead a sportsperson to cheat.

The Royal Society, London 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK
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