London events for people with curious minds.
Monday 16 April
FILM: Sean Connery gets into a spot of bother on the Jovian moon of Io, in the 1981 film Outland. The screening at Greenwich Picturehouse is followed by a discussion with astronomers from the nearby observatory. £11.10, 6.30pm
BOOKS: Fiction Lab returns to the Royal Institution. It’s a book club for people who like a dose of science in their fiction, but not necessarily science fiction. This month, meet up to talk about Litmus: Short Stories from Modern Science. FREE, 7pm
DOPES: How rife is illegal substance taking in elite sport? Dr Mark Burnley is at the Monarch in Camden Town to discuss a rational, evidence-based approach to tackling performance enhancement at this month’s Skeptics in the Pub (the ambiguous lack of punctuation in that last sentence may or may not be intentional). £2, 7.30pm
TUESDAY 17 April
ASTRONOMY: Rupert Baker peers into some of the Royal Society’s classic volumes of astronomy, picking out the milestones that helped us understand the cosmos. You can join him, but please book in advance. FREE, 6pm
QUIZ: The Thinking Bob meetup group hold another geeky quiz at Ye Olde Cock Tavern on Fleet Street. They’ve got buzzers and everything. £4, 7pm
TRANSPORT: The strain on Heathrow Airport keeps popping up in the news. The Institution of Engineering and Technology have a talk tonight about the pressures and challenges faced by the hub. FREE, 6.30pm
CODEBREAKING: The Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers (who knew?) presents a talk about Alan Turing and the Enigma code at City University London. Bduvbm xpsljoh Fojnb nbdijoft will be in the foyer before and after the talk. FREE, 6.30pm
SEX IN SPACE: What are the differences between men and women in outer space? A talk at Imperial’s Astrophysics group might have some answers. Perhaps not the ones you were hoping for, based on the title. FREE, 6.30pm
BRIGHT CLUB: The regular comedy-meets-science-meets-nervous-academics-fest returns to the Wilmington Arms for an evening themed around evil genius. £5, 7.30pm (We just heard it’s sold out, but you can book for the May super-Bright-Club at Bloomsbury Theatre.)
Wednesday 18 April
DEM BONES: How does our skeleton support our body? A simple question, with complex answers, as revealed at Wellcome Collection this lunch time by bioengineer Sandra Shefelbine. FREE, 1pm
Thursday 19 April
WE CAN REBUILD YOU: To what extent will it ever be possible to rebuild the brain following serious illness or trauma? Join Prof Jack Price for a Gresham lecture at Barnard’s Inn Hall (Holborn) to learn more. FREE, 6pm
LIGHTSHOW: Crystal Palace transmitter will be lit up like a tall, illuminated mast-thing to mark the final switchover to digital TV. FREE, 9.15pm
Friday 20 April
EVIL SCIENTISTS: From his name alone, Nevil Maskelyne certainly sounds like a baddy, perhaps one of Voldemort’s henchwizards. Indeed, the fifth Astronomer Royal played an obstructive role in Dava Sobel’s Longitude. A lunch time talk at the Royal Society questions whether Maskelyne deserves his negative reputation. FREE, 12.30pm
Saturday 21 April
MAIL RAIL: Royal Mail’s underground railway was abandoned in the early Noughties, and is totally off-limits to anyone but engineers and very lucky film crews. But you can still get a taste of the defunct driverless system at a special open day at the British Postal Museum and Archive. FREE, 10am-4pm
MECCANO: Kew Bridge Steam Museum is quickly becoming Geek Central. Following on from its recent Steampunk exhibition, the small museum presents a weekend of Meccano models. £10, 11am-4pm (Sat and Sun)
LOST LECTURES: The fifth and sixth events from the Lost Lectures have now been announced, although the speaker list and venue are still secret. Tickets are selling well, so if you want to be sure of a place, you might want to think about booking now for 30/31 May.
PSFK: The annual PSFK London conference of great minds and creative professionals returns on 13 September at the Southbank Centre. No word on the lineup yet, but if you want to grab a ticket early (£306.50), booking is now open.
Special acknowledgement this week to Ian Visits’ calendar of London events. It’s always useful, but particularly so this week.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to tip us off about upcoming events.