Between Rhyme and Reason: Don Paterson & Citizen Science

On 7th February 2019, the Royal Society hosted a joint event between the Royal Society, ConSciCom and the Royal Society of Literature. It was a chance to hear our Poet in Residence, Don Paterson, read some of the original work he produced for the project, as well as his discussions with leading geneticist Professor Veronica Van Heyningen CBE FRS FMedSci.

You can listen to an audio recording of the event, Between Rhyme and Reason, here.


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Poet, Prof Don Paterson, and scientist, Prof Veronica Van Heyningen, discuss the ways in which their professions meet


Away from labs and fieldwork, scientific theories have long been interpreted and creatively portrayed by the arts. The advancement of technology and increasingly specialised science have made this collaboration more challenging. However, the emergence of citizen science, as well as the burgeoning partnership between art and science, is providing an exciting way forward.

Listen to a conversation between Professor Veronica Van Heyningen CBE FRS FMedSci and award-winning poet Don Paterson OBE FRSL to discuss where science and poetry meet.

Before the discussion, Don Paterson performs poetry from his role as poet in residence on the Constructing Scientific Communities project, based at the University of Oxford, which is run in partnership with the Royal Society. Don is accompanied by acclaimed guitarist Graeme Stephen.

This event was hosted in partnership with the Royal Society of Literature.


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Don Paterson and Graeme Stephen captivate the audience beneath some of Darwin’s most famous words



Ruskin, Science and the Environment – the schedule

Please find below the schedule for our one-day conference ‘Ruskin, Science and the Environment’ to be held at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History on the 8th February, as part of the #Ruskin200 events. For more information, or to book your place, please click here.

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Discovering Killer Plants

Dr Kira Allman filmed and edited this video with Dr Chris Thorogood of the University of Oxford’s Botanic Garden. With nearly 6,000 species of plant living in the botanic garden, Chris here focuses on perhaps the most dramatic ones: those which kill.

How did nineteenth century scientists and writers make sense of carnivorous plants? Where is the line between fact and fiction? How does a carnivorous plant work? Dr. Chris Thorogood of Oxford University’s Botanic Garden answers these questions and more in this mini-documentary!