BEHAVIOUR: Why spend Sunday afternoon writing up geek events for no direct personal gain? Perhaps it’s altruism, a sometime thorn in the side of traditional theories of evolution. If you’ve ever wondered why people sometimes risk their lives to save complete strangers, join Harvard’s Martin Nowak and New Scientist’s Roger Highfield at the RSA tonight for an exploration of the laws of cooperation. (6pm, FREE but prebook, #rsanowak.)
ROBOTS: Robotic band Cybraphon comes to Bethnal Green Road’s Rich Mix cafe as part of the London Word Festival. The installation ‘consists of a number of instruments, antique machinery, and found objects from junk shops operated by over 60 robotic components, all housed in a modified wardrobe’. This video should give you a better idea. Performances run until 20 April when the musical furniture decamps to Bexhill. (10am-5pm, FREE.)
SPACE: Giant lumps of rock from outer space get a bad press. Just ask the dinosaurs. Or Bruce Willis. Geologist Ted Nield has a more optimistic view. Find out why we should ‘learn to love the meteorite’ at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich (7pm, £10). UPDATE: THIS HAS NOW BEEN POSTPONED.
FILM: Bahhhh, Bahhhh, Bhhhhh. Bah-bah. Text really isn’t the best way to convey those iconic opening bars to 2001: A Space Odyssey (courtesy of Richard Strauss). A very good way, however, is to assemble the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall and get them to play along to a special screening of the Kubrick masterpiece. If only they could also muster zero-gravity. (7pm, £20-£55, repeated Friday.)
CHEMISTRY: Wellcome Collection stays open till 11pm tonight with an evening of sideshows and performance devoted to four of the elements: arsenic, mercury, iodine and oxygen. See your reflection in a pool of mercury. Inhale pure oxygen. Learn how to tell the time with iodine. All wrapped up in a full programme of talks, music and performance. (From 7pm, FREE.)
HISTORY: Mutton-chopped proto-geeks flocked to the Great Exhibition of 1851 to explore the latest in industry, technology and the arts. A Royal Society lunchtime lecture sees Geoffrey Cantor reflecting on the expo. (1pm, FREE but prebook.)
FUTURISM: Ray Kurzweil is a leading pundit on how science and technology will affect the future of humanity. A film about his work, Trancendent Man, receives its London premier this week. That’s sold out, but you can still attend a discussion about the ideas raised in the film at Birkbeck College. (2pm, FREE or £10 donation.)
SCI-FI: The London Sci-fi/Fantasy Meetup Group hold one of their regular get-togethers in the Mad Hatter pub, Stanford Street. (From 7pm, FREE just turn up, or consider joining their meetup group.)
Go on, tell us what we’ve missed, and we’ll add to the listings.