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Overview

Fake news is not a recent phenomenon. Throughout history, scientific information has been shared inaccurately – either unintentionally or maliciously. Join us at the Royal Society for an evening exploring scientific fakes, forgeries and misinformation. Discover remarkable scientific stories and artefacts housed in our extensive, world-class archives, including the story of the first Fellow ejected from the Royal Society for ‘diverse frauds’ and a more recent perpetual motion machine

Get up close and personal with AI-generated art and speak to experts on cryptocurrencies, false memories and faking it in the natural world. 

Bringing the discussion up to date, Professor Frank Kelly and misinformation experts Dr Alessandro Siani and Dr Bnar Talabani talk to journalist Julie Gould to explore the challenge of misinformation in the online age, and how to tackle it. 

Attending this event

  • In-person event 
  • Over-18s only
  • We are operating a Challenge 25 policy on the door and you may be required to show a valid form of ID to enter the event
  • Free to attend
  • No registration required
  • Doors will open at 6.30pm and admission will be on a first-come, first-served basis
  • This event may be popular and entry cannot be guaranteed
  • Travel and accessibility
  • Certain talks will be recorded and available online after the event

Events and activities

More talks and workshops to be announced.

Some events may be busy and seats will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Piltdown - the man that wasn't (6.40pm)

In 1912, the sensational ‘discovery’ of ‘Piltdown Man’ was announced to the world. Join the Natural History Museum’s Professor Chris Stringer CBE FRS as he reviews the greatest scientific hoax in history and current thinking about "whodunnit".

The frauds and marvels of Rudolph Raspe (7.00pm, 7.30pm, 8.00pm, 8.30pm)

The extraordinary fabulist, Rudolf Erich Raspe, became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1769 but was rapidly ejected for ‘diverse frauds’. Join Keith Moore from our library team as he retells the shady career of Raspe as a con-man, thief and accidental literary great.

Cryptocurrency scams and frauds: a cautionary tale (7.10pm, 8.40pm)

Cryptocurrency scams and fraud have become increasingly prevalent in recent years, with victims losing millions of pounds. UCL PhD researcher, Arianna Trozze, explores current research on these crimes as well as what may lie in the future for cryptocurrencies.

Fake or Fortune (all-evening)

Join the Bank of England Museum in a test of your skills - can you spot the fakes? See forged banknotes of the past up close and explore the methods used to protect our currency. From social history to science and technology, come and see items from our collection which are not normally on display.