Photograph based on actual events.
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Event of the Week
Einstein vs. Newton debate at the Royal Society
Bit of a hoary old chestnut, this one. With apologies to Darwin, these two heavyweights would easily top a 100-greatest-scientists-of-all-time poll.
Channel 4: get commissioning!
But which of the pair made the most significant contribution to the sum of human knowledge? The Royal Society put on one of their most populist evenings for a long time tonight, when they host this pointless but stimulating discussion. It’s all relative, as some wag is sure to point out, but our money is on Lincolnshire’s favourite son. As a former president of the RS, the bias towards Mr Newton would seem to stack the odds against poor old Einstein. But a quick look at the vital statistics proves that the teutonic spacetime pioneer is, in fact, the acest:
Words on Wikipedia: Einstein (6789), Newton (5026)
Appearances on Star Trek: Einstein (1), Newton (2)
Elements named after: Einstein (1), Newton (0)
Longevity: Einstein (76), Newton (84)
Google hits: Einstein (11.6 million), Newton (2.2 million)
Previous mentions on Londonist: Einstein (5), Newton (4)
Result: Einstein 4, Newton 2. Einstein wins.
If you don’t fancy the main event (above), you can choose from three other lectures tonight. More Einstein at the Dana Centre, where the Punk Science crew look askance at the great man’s work, through ‘experiments, video footage and interactive voting, sketches and possibly some form of nudity’. Elsewhere, the tone is darker. The Royal Institution examines the diseases that ensue when cell death goes haywire, while Gresham College provides insights into depression.
Tomorrow, two giants of popular science take us back to Newton once again with a lecture entitled Science: A Revolution. John Gribbin and Lisa Jardine discuss the luminaries of 17th Century European science, focussing on the founders of the Royal Society.
The Royal Institution has a couple more events next week. Play on: a journey into the mystery of song on Monday delves into why on earth humans and certain animals make and enjoy music. As if the theme wasn’t interesting enough, we’re also promised a few toots from ‘legendary saxophonist’ Evan Parker, and a free glass of wine. Londonist is going to be along for this one, so say hello if you see us. The RI follow this event on Tuesday with a thought-provoking meeting between an artist, a scientist and a conservationist who each spend their lives in the company of animals.
Phew, a busy week. Oh, and the Dana Centre do yet another Aliens gig on Tuesday. Please! No more!
Before we go, we have to give a brief plug to our friends over at inkycircus. This smashing little science blog is London-based and offers daily doses of ‘life in the girl nerd world’. It’s a cracking read for us nerdy men-folk too. Be there, and/or be square.
Live or die: the secret is in our genes, Royal Institution, tonight 7-8.30, £8
Einstein vs. Newton debate, Royal Society, tonight 6.30, FREE
Punk Science: The Albert Einstein Experience, Dana Centre, tonight 7.30-9, FREE
Depression: reality and myth, Gresham College, tonight 6.00, FREE
Science: The Story of a Revolution, British Museum, Thursday 6.30, £5
Play on: a journey into the mystery of song, Royal Institution, Monday 7-9, £8 FREE WINE!!!
In the company of animals, Royal Institution, Tuesday 7-8.30, £8
Punk Science: Aliens, Dana Centre, Tuesday, 7.30-9, FREE