Hannah sitting in red theatre seats

Famous science lecture beamed live in the Highlands for the first time

Published: 06/12/2019

Young people in the Highlands, and their families, are being invited to experience first-hand the magic of the world’s longest-running science lecture series.

Dr Hannah Fry - credit: Paul Wilkinson Photography

The famous CHRISTMAS LECTURES from the Royal Institution will be streamed live in Fort William, Thurso and Inverness next week.

In this year’s CHRISTMAS LECTURES ‘Secrets and Lies: the hidden power of maths’, mathematician and presenter, Dr Hannah Fry, will reveal a hidden layer of maths that now drives everyday life and show people how to decode life’s hidden numbers.

The first in a series of three lectures will beam live into The Newton Room in Thurso and the University of the Highlands and Islands STEM Hub in Inverness on the 12th December from the Royal Institution’s theatre in London. On the 14th, the second lecture will be streamed live at Fort William’s Newton Room. The three lectures will broadcast at 8pm on BBC Four on the 26, 27 and 28 December.

The free events are for young people over the age of 11 and their families. Hands-on science experiments will be available for everyone who comes along before and during the live streaming of the lectures. 

Across a series of lectures, Hannah will show people how to decode life’s hidden numbers. It will be packed with mind-boggling demos and live experiments. 

Newton Rooms are aimed at encouraging more young people in the area into studies and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The first two centres were opened in Thurso and Fort William earlier this year and developed by the Science Skills Academy, which is a partnership project led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). It is supported with £3m from the Scottish Government. The funding is part of the £315m Inverness and Highlands City Region Deal, which is funded by the Scottish and UK Governments and regional partners.

Dr Emma Robertson, SSA project manager at HIE, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the live stream of the Christmas Lectures from the Royal Institution in the Highlands. Dr Fry brings an entirely new perspective to maths and learning for people of all ages. By relating maths to real life, these lectures will be engaging to the non-mathematicians among us, changing the way we see the world around us.

“Dr Fry is a fantastic role model for girls considering a role in STEM careers as women are currently underrepresented in the field. The Newton Rooms and the Univeristy of the Highlands and Islands STEM Hub have a learning focus on STEM and this makes it possible to have exciting events like this in the Highlands. This is a great opportunity for young people and adults, and we encourage anyone interested to register for the event.”

It’s the first time that the lectures will be streamed live in Scotland. The Royal Institution’s annual Christmas Lectures have been a festive tradition since 1825 and the longest running science communication series in the world.

The Lecture became the first science programme to be shown on national television when they were broadcast by the BBC in 1936 and have since become a mainstay of Christmas television.

For more information and to book: