Tuesday, 6 April 2010
Brian Cox's Voltaire Lecture
I've just returned from The Voltaire Lecture given by Brian Cox at Conway Hall. It was a privilege to have been able to get a ticket, since there was greater demand than the hall could contain. Not only was his recent TV programme on "The Wonders of the Solar System" inspiring and instructive, but he is also an excellent speaker. He made it clear that this country still "punches above its weight" in Science, but a lot of this is down to our scientific heritage and we may end up living off this capital and decline if we fail to invest in research. The other side of his lecture was on the simplicity and elegance of the standard model of the fundamental particles, as it is now conceived, and the details of the big bang scenario. He joked about an astrologer's claim that everything in the universe is connected, but pointed out that this is in fact the case, though possibly not in the way envisaged by the astrologer.