Talks & Courses

Maritime Lecture Series: Displaying the Arctic in Greenwich

This lecture will examine the ways in which the Arctic has been represented through museum displays in Greenwich for over 150 years, from the early displays of the relics of the 1845 Franklin expedition to the forthcoming Polar Worlds gallery in 2018. It will demonstrate what has changed and what has stayed the same in the interpretation of Arctic histories, through the collections of Royal Museums Greenwich, and ask whose stories have been told when and why.  

Presented by Royal Museums Greenwich curator, Claire Warrior,

Maritime Lecture Series: The Gates of Hell

Prof Andrew Lambert addresses the outstanding questions of the Franklin expedition. What happened to the 129 officers and men who sailed in the two ships? Why did the crews abandon ship on the north-west coast of King William Island? Why was the expedition entrusted to Franklin who, by his own admission, was no longer fit for exploring duty? Why was it so hard to find the remains of the expedition, then and now, and above all what purpose did this costly enterprise serve?

Maritime Lecture Series: Between the floe edge and the board room

Drawing comparisons between how Europeans have used Inuit testimony in the past, such as in the search for the Franklin Expedition of 1845, this presentation explores the role of Inuit testimony, knowledge and authority in climate change research and public awareness campaigns.

It highlights the diverse perspectives and strategies Inuit use to control northern narratives of climate change.

Maritime Lecture Series: Heart of the Hero

Author and polar guide Kari Herbert draws on her own experience of a polar-exploring family to tell the dramatic 'behind the scenes' stories of the heroic age of exploration.

Herbert's vivid storytelling brings to life three remarkable women: sculptor Kathleen Scott; Jo Peary - the first white woman to travel in the high Arctic, and the indomitable Jane Franklin, and shows how these women played a crucial role in supporting their husbands’ expeditions.

Meet the Astronaut!

Join us for this special guest appearance of European Space Agency Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti under the stars in the planetarium. Samantha will be giving a talk on what it’s like to be an astronaut and her time spent on the International Space Station. She will also be available to answer questions at the end of her presentation, so if you’ve always had a burning question to ask an astronaut now is your chance!

Please note: all children must be accompanied by a paying adult.


Distorting the line: Globes, Maps and Movement workshop

Have you ever wondered how maps are made? Fascinated by stories of voyages, maps and globes? Explore the various forms of mapping on display at the Queen’s House, and learn more about their social history, and effect on shaping our world.

Make your own kinetic device to animate your depictions of the globe, and explore the works on display at the Queen’s House, in this hands-on workshop.

Participants will use materials including wood, wire and paper to create hand propelled devices, whilst sharing knowledge about how maps help to create our worldview.

Observatory Unlocked sessions

Enjoy a range of public talks and activities delivered by our Observatory Explainers, ranging from short talks on the hidden stories of the Royal Observatory Greenwich to Solar observing and hands on science demonstrations.

Our team of Observatory Explainers include those who are studying Astrophysics at degree or postgraduate level and can answer your burning questions about astronomy such as: why do we need dark matter to explain the universe and how do astronomers know that space is expanding?

Young Astronomers Workshop

Get hands-on in these short drop in family workshops themed around space science and exploration, from the most recent discoveries about the Solar System to our latest understanding of the wider universe.

Our team of Observatory Explainers include those who are studying astronomy at degree or postgraduate level and can answer your burning space questions such as: how big is the Universe and why is Pluto not a planet anymore? Also if you've always wondered what it takes to become an astronomer - they are the people to ask!

The Glass Universe talk

Dava will be in conversation with our Public Astronomer, Dr. Marek Kukula to discuss her latest book, The Glass Universe, and the role of women of the era in science.

Dava will also perform a reading of an excerpt from the book, which will be available to purchase after the event and Dava will be available for book signing.

Age: 11+

Find out about the campaign for gender balance in science, technology and engineering on the WISE website.

Visit the WISE website


Our Sun: Friend or Foe

The Sun, our star, provides everything needed to sustain life here on Earth. However,  the Sun is also very dynamic, with periods of intense activity, and other times when it  is quieter.

During active times, the Sun produces solar flares and Coronal Mass Ejections, which can impinge on the Earth's environment, causing beautiful aurorae and/or harmful effects for astronauts and modern technology.

This talk will cover observations of the Sun from space (SoHO, SDO, Hinode and IRIS) which give us a deeper insight into what is happening in the solar atmosphere.


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