Wednesday April 22, 2009 at 5.30pm - Lecture theatre U020, Brockington Extension
Life, the Universe and Everything
Professor Stephen Fletcher, Department of Chemistry
Nullius in Verba is the motto of the Royal Society, and it means "accept the word of no master". It admonishes us to study the world by obtaining data about it, rather than by accepting the words of "experts", or the merely powerful. Those who have been brave enough to follow this advice have, over the past three centuries, gradually transformed our understanding of the Universe and our place in it.
In this talk, Stephen will try to provide an accessible, up-to-date account of three of the greatest discoveries in the history of science. In particular, he will describe the "big bang" origin of the Universe, the "giant impact" origin of the Earth/Moon system, and the evolution of life by natural selection. He will also describe how they are connected, and possibly speculate about where the next generation of discoveries is likely to be made.