Interview with Bill Bryson

The importance of science: an outsider's perspective.

Bill Bryson FRS in conversation with Professor Jim Al-Khalili OBE.

He has been given the President's Award by the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Bradford Washburn Award by the Museum of Science in Boston and has been made an honorary Fellow of the Kavli Institute of Particle Physics, the British Science Association and the Royal Society. Yet renowned author Bill Bryson claims to have been a terrible student of science in school. Join Bill as he speaks to Professor Jim Al-Khalili about his personal experiences and perspectives on science, from childhood and his school years, through to writing the highly successful A Short History of Nearly Everything and editing the Royal Society's 350th anniversary book, Seeing Further.

Bill Bryson is an award-winning author and writer, and is noted for his contributions to the popularisation of science.

Jim Al-Khalili is Professor of Public Engagement and Professor of Physics at the University of Surrey.

More info:

Attending this event

This event is free to attend and open to all. No tickets are required. Doors open at 6.00pm and seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.


We have been to very popular events at the Royal Society where latecomers have not been able to get in because it's been full. Please note this is advertised as a first come first served event, over which Geek Chic organisers.have no control. I suggest you arrive before 6pm - talk starts at 6.30pm.

We'll meet in the foyer from 6pm - 6.10pm and I'll have a sign. After this, please come and find a seat in the main room  and we'll see you afterwards for a drink at the pub.

We'll wait downstairs in the foyer at 7.30pm for about 15 mins, but if you miss us, please just come over to the pub. It's about 8 minutes walk away but it's near Charing Cross and Embankment stations.

Pub - The Lord Moon of The Mall, 16-18 Whitehall, London SW1A 2DY.


Geek Chic costs: Full Membership of this group is £15 a year. You can attend two events for free. You can pay any time by Paypal using the link on the left navigation pane, or

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  • Michael H.

    A nice evening

    April 18

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great talk, and good company at the pub, even managed to cattch the last fast train home :-)

    April 15

    • Michelle

      Great that you made the fast train!! It was lovely to meet you.

      April 16

  • Ines

    Didn't make it in despite various attempts to charm the door staff! Hope to meet u guys @ next time!

    April 15

  • MyLittleEye

    Wow, looks like a popular event! Didn't see it until too late! I'll be back among the geeks again soon B-)

    April 15

  • Jobeda A.

    Hello everyone in overflow room. We know you are running behind and we are still waiting for you in foyer!

    April 15

  • Jobeda A.

    We're running over, so will wait in foyer til 7.50 so you have chance to go to loo etc. See you soon.

    April 15

  • Steve S.

    Im the last one :-)! See you in the pub!

    April 15

    • Jobeda A.

      Last one what? Were you the last person to get in? Jammy!

      April 15

  • Jobeda A.

    Hey guys, sorry couldn't log in earlier. I 280 in main hall, and 150 in overflow. Hope most of you made it in. We'll wait in foyer until 7.45 otherwise see you in pub.

    April 15

  • Laura G.

    Those with labels have access to the lecture theatre and there is room for approx. 150 ppl in an overflow theatre apparently (live web cam).

    April 15

    • Peter

      Thanks for the info. Think I'm about 200 people back!

      April 15

  • Peter

    Just joined the queue....well I think so, it sort of goes out of sight and I'm nearly opposite the entrance on the other side of the road, haha

    April 15

  • Michael H.

    Apparently the back party if the queue might make it onto the overflow room

    April 15

  • Grace

    Anybody know the room capacity? As Michael says, it's one very very long queue!

    April 15

  • Michael H.

    It's a very long queue! Nice weather for it though

    April 15

  • Stephen

    Sorry, I had a small emergency, I wouldn't be there until 6:30 at the earliest, which would probably leave me not able to get in!
    Enjoy. I was looking forward to it.

    April 15

  • Peter

    Bit last minute but managed to get out of work early

    April 14

  • Fed

    sorry guys, I have to work tomorrow, a change of last minute. Hopefully see you soon.

    All the best,


    April 14

  • Jobeda A.

    For people signing up at the last minute you will have missed my email - my number is[masked] - please be patient, there will be a lot of people calling me. Please don't call unless you absolutely have to - we probably won't be able to be seated together anyway, so will wait for everyone afterwards in the foyer or you can just find us at the pub.

    April 14

  • Renee

    Will come straight from work but if Brian Cox lecture anything to go on the queue was miles long by 5:30pm. Do we know if this is being pod-cast if we can't get in?

    April 9

  • Liam

    May have to drop out of this; may be in the wilds of Surrey...

    March 27, 2014

68 went

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