During June I've been invited to speak at three special events. It's a particularly exciting month for me. Over the weekend of 14th we are visiting Langholm in southwest Scotland. It was the home of the Armstrongs, whose most famous family member was Neil who walked on the Moon.
I'll be delivering an appreciation of the life and work of Neil Armstrong at the memorial service on the Friday evening, in front of representatives of the US, UK and Scottish governments. Then I'll be giving a talk on the Saturday about what the astronauts left behind on the Moon, specifically the mirrors that are still being used today to carry out an extraordinary experiment into the nature of gravity.
A friend who lives there tells us that shop displays are getting into the spirit and that there is a buzz of excitement about the town. Neil Armstrong visited the town with his wife in 1972 to receive the honour of Freedom of Langholm and we are looking forward to meeting people who remember that day. Have a look on the church's website here. And the Buccleuch Centre's here.
On 24th I'll be giving a talk about science at an event called The Salon for the Historic Royal Palaces at Banqueting House in Whitehall, London. For the entire evening everyone present will be pretending it is 1649 - so this will be a talk without my laptop and illustrations! I'll be explaining where science was at that time, what big ideas were coming forward and how they was changing the mindsets and experience of those under Cromwell's rule in London. Find out about the Salon here and Banqueting House here.
My third exciting challenge is to ask: Is science becoming too complicated? to a room at The Ivy containing a hundred people from the worlds of politics, journalism and the arts who like to 'think as they drink'. Other speakers on 30th include the artist Peter Kennard and the chairman of Sotherby's, Lord Dalmeny. In addition, there will be poetry from Greta Bellamacina and comedy from Rich Wise, Tony Law and Celia Pacquola. This is a lunch experience called Sunday Wise and they have been meeting monthly for about a year. It promises to be a thought-provoking, fascinating afternoon. You can buy tickets here.
Amongst these special events I will also be returning to the astronomers in both Wycombe (19th) and Spalding (21st) who always make me so welcome. This year I'll be talking about my Sky's Dark Labyrinth trilogy of novels dramatising the lives of the men who changed our perspective of the universe.