Behind the 2014 Christmas Lectures: Thanks and Farewell, Prof. Danielle George

In 1825, Michael Faraday, one of the most important scientists in history, began the CHRISTMAS LECTURES © at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. With a few exceptions, these lectures have been given almost continuously since then by many eminent scientists, science communicators and engineers. In 2014, these lectures will be presented by Professor Danielle George (@EngineerDG) the University of Manchester, we were delighted to have her host Real Scientists this past week.

In a busy week, we got to hear from Danielle on preparing for the CHRISTMAS LECTURES ©, new inventions at engineering awards ceremonies, and working with her students. Danielle’s work, in her own words:


Many new radio telescope projects are currently in development, including the huge Square Kilometer Array in the Southern Hemisphere, and others both here on earth and on spacecraft like Planck spacecraft, Danielle’s work encompasses both big and small science and isn’t limited to the lab:



As well as taking us on a tour of research into radio frequency engineering, Danielle asked some big questions about the difference between scientists and engineers:



which prompted some lively and interesting debate. It’s clear, however, that we need both scientists and engineers to co-create new and better technology  – especially technology that will take us into space and better understand our universe.


We also got to see first hand the practice work for her CHRISTMAS LECTURES © and the original programs from Faraday himself:



Danielle’s lectures, entitled Sparks will Fly , looks at taking some of the technology we already have and hacking into it – that is, repurposing things that we take for granted or giving them new, innovative uses. And that’s a project everyone can participate in.


We had a great time hosting Danielle and the Royal Institution this week and thank her for taking time out from her very busy schedule to share her work, the behind the scenes of the CHRISTMAS LECTURES (C)  and her experiences with us.  We wish her the very best for the CHRISTMAS LECTURES © and her amazing work. If you want to join in, check out Hack gallery and be a part of this great project.



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