Sat 16th Nov 2013, 10am to 6pm – ExCel London

Consensus - Science Talks

We are delighted to confirm a major science talk event at ExCel London. Join Bill Bailey, Richard Dawkins, Richard Wiseman, Richard Fortey and Quentin Cooper for original science presentations, group discussion, and geek-pop by Jonny Berliner.

There is also gourmet buffet and evening reception based at the prestigious Linnean Society of London in Piccadilly, starting at 8pm after the ExCel event ends.

All profits will go to complete the funding of the Alfred Russel Wallace statue appeal, with any excess being donated to related charities.


Confirmed participants are, in no particular order:

Bill Bailey - Jungle Hero
Bill Bailey, the extraordinary hirsute polymath, comedian, raconteur and natural-history expert.Bill is a long-time admirer of Wallace, and is the Patron of George Beccaloni’s Wallace Memorial Fund. His recent ‘Bill Bailey’s Jungle Hero’, screened on BBC 2 to rave reviews, charted Wallace’s amazing journey through the Malay archipelago between 1854 and 1862.

Taking a tiny break from his sell-out Qualmpeddler tour, Bill will present a specially-commissioned talk, with pictures and video, entitled ‘The Making of Jungle Hero’.

Richard Dawkins
Professor Richard Dawkins, evolutionary biologist, Fellow of the Royal Society and best-selling author of such acclaimed works as The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion, will present a talk entitled ‘Evolution; The New Classics’.In his own inimitable style, Professor Dawkins will argue that the study of evolution is the new ideal general education, just as Classics used to be.

Richard will demonstrate that a knowledge of the theory of Evolution by Natural Selection, bestriding as it does so many disciplines, broadens the mind and illuminates, as nothing else can, the true wonder that is the natural world.

As Charles Dawin wrote in On the Origin of Species, ‘There is grandeur in this view of life.’

Sara Passmore
Sara Passmore, Head of Education and Promotion of the British Humanist Association, will provide a Secular Humanist’s perspective to the day’s proceedings.
Richard Fortey
Professor Richard Fortey, TV presenter, world-expert on trilobites, Fellow of the Royal Society, and author of books including Life: An Unauthorized Biography, Trilobite!, Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms: The Story of the Animals and Plants That Time Has Left Behind, and his acclaimed Dry Storeroom No. 1, an irreverent behind-the-scenes look at the Natural History Museum, where Richard worked for more than thirty years.Richard will present a talk entitled ‘Something Old, Something New’, describing why fossils still matter in the era of molecular genetics and DNA research.

Richard Wiseman
Professor Richard Wiseman, psychologist, illusionist, member of the Inner Magic Circle, author of bestselling books including Quirkology, 59 Seconds, Paranormality, and his latest life-changing tome Rip it Up, and with YouTube videos viewed by over 145 million people, Richard ranks as the world’s most popular popular psychologist. Richard will examine the science behind the supernatural, revealing what ghosts, psychics and out-of-body experiences prove about our brains and beliefs, in his talk entitled ‘Investigating the Impossible: a journey into a world where truth is far stranger than fiction’.

Richard will also be conducting mass-audience Mind Games, an experience not to be missed.

Joanne Davies
Joanne Davies studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under Pauline Scott. She went on to Cambridge University where she achieved a BA, MA in Music and Philosophy. Joanne will provide music on her electric violin during the breaks.
Jonny Berliner
Jonny Berliner is the geekiest songwriter around. After three years of studying the History and Philosophy of Science at Leeds University and realising that his degree qualified him for no real jobs at all, Jonny became a musician. Jonny will sing a collection of Science Songs encompassing such diverse subjects as genetics, astro-physics, chemistry, quantum mechanics, and a brand-new song about Alfred Russel Wallace.

Quentin Cooper
Quentin Cooper, described by The Times as both ‘The world’s most enthusiastic man’ and ‘An expert on everything from pop music to astrophysics’, is best known as the former presenter of Radio 4’s The Material World. Quentin will host the whole event, introduce everybody, and sometimes even attempt to keep order.

Full Programme

(There may be minor changes)

Food and drinks are available inside the venue, within walk distance from the auditorium.

08:00 ExCel doors open
Food vendors open in the main concourse
09:00 Auditorium opens
Science videos
10:00 Jonny Berliner Quentin Cooper
10:05 Bill Bailey Bill Bailey
The Making of Jungle Hero
10:45 Sara Passmore Sara Passmore
British Humanist Association
10:55 Jonny Berliner Jonny Berliner
Science Songs I
11:10 Break – 30 mins
(Joanne Davies – electric violin at 11:30)
11:40 Richard Fortey Richard Fortey
Something Old, Something New
12:30 Jonny Berliner Jonny Berliner
Science Songs II
12:45 Lunch – 75 mins
14:00 Richard Wiseman Richard Wiseman
Investigating the Impossible: a journey into a world where truth is far stranger than fiction
plus mass-audience Mind Games
15:00 Richard Dawkins Richard Dawkins
Evolution; The New Classics
15:50 Tea break – 40 mins
(Joanne Davies – electric violin at 16:20)
16:30 Group discussion and Q&A
17:10+ Event ends (approximate time)

Evening reception at the Linnean Society – 8:00 to 11:00pm

There will be an evening reception at the Linnean Society of Piccadilly after the ExCel event. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet all our presenters, plus many other people involved with the Wallace celebrations and the statue appeal.