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Beautiful Minds Events programme

This feature was created to accompany an exhibition in the Library's galleries between 7 December 2005 and 15 March 2006. The following events took place during that period:

Wednesday 11 January 2006
SVANTE LINDQVIST
The Nobel Prize as a Mirror of 20th-Century Science and Culture

There are two peaks in the annual media reporting on the Nobel Prize - the first week in October when the prize-winners are announced and later, in December, when the Prizes are physically awarded in Stockholm and in Oslo.

Svante LindqvistEach year new critical voices are heard. Is there a pattern to this criticism? This talk will discuss some of the most common objections raised each year against the Nobel Prize. It is argued that the criticism is interesting, not so much for what it tells us about views on the Nobel Prize, but as a mirror in itself of 20th-century science and culture.


Svante Lindqvist is Director of the Nobel Museum in Stockholm.

Event time: 18.30 - 20.00
Location: Conference Centre, St Pancras
Price: £6.00 (concessions £4.00)

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Wednesday 18 January 2006
LORD PUTTNAM
The Creative Producer

Producers in the creative industries exercise a profound influence on many of the cultural forms that help shape our ideas and beliefs. Lord Puttnam explores the role of creative producers and look at their relationship with creative talent, their responsibility with audiences and their power to change the way in which we view the world.

Lord PuttnamLord Puttnam is the Oscar-winning producer of Chariots of Fire, and the founding chair of NESTA - the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. Having retired from film production in 1998, he now focuses on his work in education and politics. In July 2002 he was appointed President of UNICEF UK.



Event kindly sponsored by AHRC Arts and Humanities Research Council
Event time: 18.30 - 21.00
Location: Conference Centre, St Pancras
Price: £10.00 (concessions £7.50, including drinks reception)

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Tuesday 31 January 2006
OLIVER KING
The Creative Designer

Is there a difference between invention and innovation? Can anyone be a designer, inventor or entrepreneur? Oliver King will look at the some of the unusual design processes which have resulted in objects which we all take for granted but cannot live without, including the cordless kettle and the string vest. He also explores the designer's role in turning original ideas into things people want and in creating visions of how we might live our lives in the future.

Oliver KingOliver King is co-founder and director of Engine and is a passionate champion of the broader benefits of design-led innovation and enterprise. He presented Made for the Masses, a series on ITV exploring the history and design of everyday objects that have become icons of British design.



Event kindly sponsored by AHRC Arts and Humanities Research Council
Event time: 18.30 - 21.00
Location: Conference Centre, St Pancras
Price: £10.00 (concessions £7.50, including drinks reception)

Book now


Wednesday 1 February 2006
RICHARD DAWKINS
Queerer Than We Can Suppose - The Strangeness of Science

Richard DawkinsBritish-born biochemist J.B.S. Haldane famously said, "Now, my own suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we CAN suppose". Haldane was suggesting that perhaps the Universe is not only stranger and more complex than we think but possibly stranger than it is within the grasp of human mentality to comprehend. Richard Dawkins will illustrate the strangeness of science, and speculate on why we find it so.

Professor Richard Dawkins is Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University.

Event time: 18.30 - 20.00
Location: Conference Centre, St Pancras
Price: £6.00 (concessions £4.00)

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Wednesday 8 February 2006
NANCY GREENSPAN and GUSTAV BORN
The End of the Certain World: The Life and Science of Max Born

Max Born won the Nobel Prize in 1954 for his fundamental contributions to quantum mechanics discoveries. He trained eight Nobel physicists and his collaborators included Wolfgang Pauli, Werner Heisenberg, Enrico Fermi, Paul Dirac and Robert Oppenheimer.

After the Nazis forced him out of Göttingen in 1933, Born rescued many young colleagues such as Edward Teller. Like his great friend Albert Einstein, Born wrote and spoke frequently on the social responsibility of researchers.

Professor Gustav BornJoin Max Born's biographer, Nancy Greenspan, in conversation with his son Professor Gustav Born FRS. They will celebrate this great thinker's contributions to science and to humanity.

Professor G Born FRS is at the William Harvey Research Institute and a emeritus Professor of Pharmacology of London University. His work concerns the pathophysiology of the circulation.

Nancy GreenspanNancy Thorndike Greenspan has co-authored three books and numerous articles with her husband, child psychiatrist Stanley Greenspan, and has published in the fields of economics and the environment.

Event time: 18.30 - 20.00
Location: Conference Centre, St Pancras
Price: £6.00 (concessions £4.00)

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Monday 20 February 2006
GEIR LUNDESTAD
The Nobel Peace Prize - Historical Record and Political Significance

What makes the Nobel Peace Prize so prestigious? Is it its long history? The fact that it belongs to a high-family of Prizes? In awarding the Nobel Peace Prize, despite some mistakes, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has a respectable historical record and the very nature of the Prize itself has evolved over time. While there are limitations on what the Prize for peace can achieve, it does has certain effects - not least it opens doors and serves as a microphone for the lesser-known laureate.

Occasionally it may also change international politics. The Prize awarded in 1996 to Belo and Ramos-Horta from East Timor is offered as the most striking example of this.

Geir LundestadGeir Lundestad is Director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute.

Event time: 18.30 - 20.00
Location: Conference Centre, St Pancras
Price: £6.00 (concessions £4.00)


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Tuesday 21 February 2006
PROFESSOR LISA JARDINE
The Creative Scientist

Science and 'scientific breakthroughs' occur in specific cultural contexts. These are captured in the lives of scientists such as Robert Hooke, who became the Royal Society's first 'Curator of Experiments' in 17th-century London . A wit, dandy and prodigious diary-keeper, Hooke illustrates the geographical, political, social and economic circumstances necessary for 'great science'. Professor Jardine explores the creative nature of science and how this transgresses boundaries of research, culture and historical location.

Professor Lisa JardineProfessor Lisa Jardine is Centenary Professor of Renaissance Studies and Director of the Arts and Humanities Research Council's Centre for Editing Lives and Letters. She is also Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary, University of London . She appears regularly on arts, history and current affairs programmes for television and radio.



Event kindly sponsored by AHRC Arts and Humanities Research Council
Event time: 18.30 - 21.00
Location: Conference Centre, St Pancras
Price: £10.00 (concessions £7.50, including drinks reception)

Book now


Monday 27 February 2006
KATHY SYKES
Making Science More Accessible

There are some real challenges in trying to get the public more interested in science - a subject which seems impenetrable and even scary to many people. Scientists - commonly perceived as old men in lab coats with crazy hair - are thought by many to 'do what they want behind closed doors'. Children find much of their school science hard and irrelevant, even though they're interested in the science they read about in the media.

Kathy SykesKathy will discuss tackling these barriers - particularly focusing on ways of 'humanising' science and scientists - showing that scientists are normal and fallible on TV programmes or in science festivals and events. She will argue that it also involves helping scientists develop their humanity, to explore their own ethical views on their work and to listen better to what the public's perceptions are - so that this might also help us, as a society, to make wiser choices about how we use science.

Kathy Sykes is Collier Chair for the Public Engagement of Science and Engineering Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Bristol.

Event time: 18.30 - 20.00
Location: Conference Centre, St Pancras
Price: £6.00 (concessions £4.00)

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Tuesday 28 February 2006
PROFESSOR CARL DJERASSI
Noble Science and Nobel Lust

Carl DjerassiCarl Djerassi is a man with a mission. For the past 17 years, he has used fiction writing, mostly in the genre of "science-in-fiction", or more recently "science-in-theatre", to smuggle scientific facts, personalities and behaviour into the consciousness of a largely scientifically-illiterate public. His works show the personal conflicts faced by scientists in their quest for scientific knowledge, personal recognition, and financial reward. Through a combination of lecture, reading, and video presentation he will illustrate some of the pros and cons of Nobel lust.

Professor Carl Djerassi is Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University. He is also one of the few American scientists to have been awarded both the National Medal of Science - for the first synthesis of a steroid oral contraceptive -"the Pill" - and the National Medal of Technology for promoting new approaches to insect control. His play Oxygen, which he co-wrote with the Nobel Laureate Roald Hoffmann, deals with the centenary of the Nobel Prize.

Find out more about Carl Djerassi's writing at www.djerassi.com

Event time: 18.30 - 20.00
Location: Conference Centre, St Pancras
Price: £6.00 (concessions £4.00)

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Wednesday 1 March 2006
PROFESSOR ANDERS BÁRÁNY
From Alfred Nobel to Harold Pinter - A Short History of the Nobel Prize in Literature

Professor Anders BárányWhy is there a Nobel Prize in Literature and how did it become so prestigious? Looking behind the curtain one finds three important clues - the first clue is the literary ambitions of the donator Alfred Bernhard Nobel, chemical engineer, inventor and entrepreneur. The second clue is the long series of meetings during which the Swedish Academy, together with the other prize-awarding institutions and the executors of Nobel's will, slowly worked out the detailed book of Nobel rules. The third and most important clue comes in the form of the many Nobel Laureates themselves, who produced the literary works that they are cited for. This talk will explore these clues - covering the third through examples mainly taken from the first century of the Nobel Prize.

Professor Anders Bárány is Deputy Director of the Nobel Museum in Stockholm.

Event time: 18.30 - 20.00
Location: Conference Centre, St Pancras
Price: £6.00 (concessions £4.00)

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Monday 6 March 2006
BARONESS GREENFIELD
In Search of the Creative Mind

Is human nature about to change forever? Can we envisage a world where everything we take for granted about ourselves - imagination, free will, love, learning, memory, desire - become obsolete. At the beginning of the 21st century Baroness Greenfield asserts that we are standing on the brink of a mind makeover more cataclysmic than anything in our history.

Baroness GreenfieldBaroness Greenfield is a research scientist, entrepreneur, communicator of science and government policy adviser. She is both director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain and Professor of Pharmacology at Oxford University, where she heads a multi-disciplinary research group.



Event kindly sponsored by AHRC Arts and Humanities Research Council
Event time: 18.30 - 21.00
Location: Conference Centre, St Pancras
Price: £10.00 (concessions £7.50, including drinks reception)

Book now


Monday 13 March 2006
DAME ANITA RODDICK
The Creative Entrepreneur

Since the Body Shop was founded in 1976, Anita Roddick always wanted to use business as a platform to make the world a better place. She wanted to be honest about the products sold, the benefits promised and to follow a different path from the rest of the cosmetics industry. Like all entrepreneurs, Dame Anita is a pathological optimist and a believer in the impossible. Now, 30 years on, Anita shares the highs and lows of her crazy entrepreneurial journey.

Anita RoddickDame Anita Roddick is the founder of the Body Shop. The Body Shop is dedicated to the pursuit of social and environmental change and the shops and products help communicate human rights and environmental issues.



Event kindly sponsored by AHRC Arts and Humanities Research Council
Event time: 18.30 - 21.00
Location: Conference Centre, St Pancras
Price: £10.00 (concessions £7.50, including drinks reception)

Book now

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Nobel Prizes - Did you know?
Alexander Fleming (1881-1955)
Sounds - Nobel Laureates
Learning
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Nobel Prizes - Did you know?
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