All talks and courses are intended to be accessible to absolute beginners. Day schools can be adapted to evening courses. Please phone or email for further details.


The following talks are available for booking in 2018/19:

- A Brief History of Everything: From the Big Bang to the Present Day in Six Surprising Steps.

- The Big Bang: How Did We Ever Come to Believe in Such a Crazy Idea?

From Seed to Fork: The Story of how Plants Evolved and Humans Adapted Them: This talk explores the extraordinary 450 million-year evolution of plants and the inventive ways they solved the many problems arising from the move on to dry land – gravity, nutrition, desiccation and the particularly intractable and surprising issue of reproduction. We then discover how humans adapted this bountiful heritage in the invention of agriculture, why, where and how this happened, and why this step has been described as “the worst mistake in history “. It should provide a fascinating new perspective on the plants that grow in your garden.


The following courses are available for booking in 2018/19:


A Brief History of Almost Everything: Ever wondered how it all got started? This course covers it all: from the Big Bang, through the first stars, to life on Earth and our own evolution. Get ready for an exhilarating journey.


An Introduction to Cosmology: We'll begin this study of the nature and evolution of the Universe by examining how our understanding of the Cosmos has deepened and evolved over the last 500 years. We'll then learn how primordial hydrogen was transformed into stars, galaxies, elements and ultimately complex beings such as ourselves, capable of reflecting on the whole process. We’ll conclude by addressing some current mysteries - dark energy and dark matter.


The Human Story: From Subsistence Tribes to Global Village: In this examination of the broad sweep and patterns of human history we will be asking, and trying to answer, some big questions. Why, for example, did our ancestors survive when our cousins the Neanderthals became extinct? Why were plants domesticated in some places but not others?  Why did many places in different parts of the world experience very similar processes of urbanisation, centralisation of power and empire building? And why, in the nineteenth century, did Britain become the dominant global power rather than, say, China?


From Seed to Fork: The Story of how Plants Evolved and Humans Adapted Them: This is a day school in two halves. In the morning we explore the extraordinary 450 million-year evolution of plants and the inventive ways they solved the many problems arising from the move on to dry land – gravity, nutrition, dessication and the particularly intractable and surprising issue of reproduction. In the afternoon we discover how humans adapted this bountiful heritage in the invention of agriculture, why, where and how this happened, and why this step has been described as “the worst mistake in history “. The day should provide a fascinating new perspective on the plants that grow in your garden.