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Join mathematician Professor Marcus du Sautoy OBE FRS and artist Conrad Shawcross RA as they discuss how experimentation, curiosity and creative thinking are central to both science and sculpture. This event will be chaired by Samira Ahmed, journalist, writer, broadcaster and presenter for BBC Radio 4 Front Row and BBC one programme Newswatch.

Marcus du Sautoy is the Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of New College. His research uses classical tools from number theory to explore the mathematics of symmetry. He is author of popular science books and has presented numerous radio and TV series. He works extensively with a range of arts organisations from the Royal Opera House to Glastonbury Festival with the aim to bring science alive.

Conrad Shawcross’ sculptures are imbued with an appearance of scientific rationality. They explore the borders between geometry and philosophy, physics and metaphysics. Throughout his work, Shawcross pays tribute to some of the great pioneers and analysts, and considers specific moments or figures from the past. Paradigm (Ode to the Difference Engine), 2006, references the life of Charles Babbage; Slow Arc Inside a Cube, 2007, takes its inspiration from the scientist Dorothy Hodgkin’s discovery of the structure of pig insulin; and most recently, ADA, 2013, is named after Ada Lovelace, credited by many as the world’s first computer programmer.

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This is the third talk in the ‘When science meets art’ series of events, organised in partnership between the Royal Academy of Arts and the Royal Society. The series seeks to explore how emerging technologies can drive artistic practice, how art can develop new approaches to scientific problems, and what makes for a successful collaboration between the two disciplines.