- What if the ancient Greeks had invented computers?
- What did dinosaurs really look like?
- How could we rebuild civilisation from scratch?
- Is anybody out there?
Just four of the questions to be discussed at the forthcoming New Scientist Live event, billed as the UK's biggest ever festival of ideas and discovery (cough, Festival of Britain, cough). That magazine has heartened us on many a dark train journey of late, so we're pleased to learn of this live event, coming to ExCeL in September.
The four-day show will see top scientists sharing their enthusiasm for discovery, exploration and curiosity, which are the hallmarks of their trade.
The convention contains plenty of household names*: Alice Roberts (pictured), Jim Al-Khalili and Astronomer Royal Martin Rees are among the first of the 120 or so speakers to be announced. Topics will run the full gamut of science, from tiny quantum matters to human biology to the origins of the universe.
As well as talks, expect plenty of hands-on demonstrations, 200 exhibitors and the chance to gawp at a test version of a future Martian rover and the Bloodhound Project’s 1,000 mph car. The full programme is still under construction, but already looks mouthwatering.
New Scientist Live is at ExCeL on 22-25 September 2016. Standard tickets are £25 a day.
*Meaning households that watch a lot of BBC4.