London events for people with curious minds.
Monday 8 October
BOOKS: This month’s Fiction Lab book club at the Royal Institution features Chemistry In Fiction: Insufficiency, Phallacy or Both, by Carl Djerassi. FREE, 7pm
MORE BOOKS: Alternatively, the Science Fiction Book Club discusses Grass, Sheri S Tepper’s 1989 novel about a planet entirely carpeted in the green stuff, where deadly secrets lurk. Members only, but free to join, when meetup details will be given.
Tuesday 9 October
SNAIL ART: Steve Jones is perhaps one of the best-known British popularisers of science of the last two decades. When he’s not promulgating the wonders of biology to a TV audience, he’s in his UCL lab investigating the genetics of snails. In a lunchtime lecture at that institution, he’ll talk about the links between snail shell patterns and human art. FREE, 1.15pm
PERSONALITY: What aspects of our personalities are hard-wired, and why is there so much variation? Glenn Wilson explores the subject at a Gresham lecture at the Museum of London. FREE, 6pm
Wednesday 10 October
SPACE: Another Gresham lecture at the Museum of London probes the history and future of lunar exploration. FREE, 1pm
ARCHITECTURE: English Heritage’s Simon Thurley discusses the Victorian city and the buildings that defined it, at another Museum of London Gresham lecture. FREE, 6pm
TRANSPORT: Julia King is at SCI (14-15 Bedford Square) to discuss the future of transport, and sustainable ways to move a growing population around the planet. FREE, 6.30pm
ARCHAEOLOGY: This week’s Crossrail lecture examines the excavation of the old Bedlam burial ground outside Liverpool Street station. FREE, 6.30pm
QUIZ: The Royal Institution goes all Buzzcocks with a topical panel quiz show themed around science. Contestants include Jon Butterworth, Helen Arney and Matt Parker. FREE, 7pm
DISEASE: Learn about zoonotic pathogens — disease vectors able to jump between different species of animal, including to humans — at Wellcome Collection. FREE, 7pm
GAMER DISCO: Super Mario meets electronic music at the Book Club’s monthly disco with a retro-videogame theme. FREE, 7.30-midnight
Friday 12 October
HISTORY OF SCIENCE: The Royal Society has a lunchtime lecture about Sir John Hill, scourge of that learned Society in the mid-Georgian era. FREE, 1pm
MEMORY: This year’s Serpentine Pavilion celebrates its final weekend of existence by encuddling a three-day ‘marathon’ devoted to memory. Artists, scientists, performers and others (including some very big names — Stipe, Lynch, Weiwei, Gilbert/George, Herzog/de Meuron…) put on short shows and talks around the theme. Sessions continue on Saturday and Sunday. £15 (1 day), £25 (2 day).
Saturday 13 October
ARMY MEDICINE: Spend your weekend learning about the history and cutting edge of battlefield medicine, at a weekend symposium at the National Army Museum. Continues tomorrow. £15 (one day) or £25 (two day), 10am-5.30pm
MECCANO: Ian Visits tips us off about this Meccano fair in Eltham, celebrating the marvellous construction kits for children and young adults. The show features spectacular models, stalls, and a presumably non-IOC-approved MeccanOlympics. It’s at Eltham United Reformed Church. £3 (or free for accompanied kids), 10.30am-4.30pm
ZOOLOGY: A shout out to the excellent Grant Museum at UCL, which is now open on Saturdays, making a visit to this small but fascinating museum that bit easier for people with jobs. FREE, 1-5pm
Sunday 14 October
SPACE: Trendy but comfortable King’s Cross venue Drink Shop & Do host a day of Science London space-related fun, with Londonist friends @SpaceKate and Marek Kukula from the Royal Observatory, and others. Just turn up for spacey activities and to chat with other enthusiasts. FREE, 10.30am-8pm
UGLY ANIMALS: Pandas and polar bears get all the press, but the world is full of imperiled animals…many of them too ugly to go on promotional materials. A bunch of comedians, under the joint moniker of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, are standing up for these unfortunates, each championing a favourite minging beast for the audience to vote on. We’ll be in the audience…join us at the Melrose (formerly the Vandella) in Shepherd’s Bush. £5, 7pm
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to tip us off about upcoming events.