Thursday, 12 January 2012

Space rock talk

Every year, the The Royal Society awards the Michael Faraday Prize to someone they feel has contributed a significant amount to society's understanding of science. For the communication of often complicated concepts in simplified and comprehensible terms. Making it so that even I can understand it, is what I'm getting at... Anyway. Winners are asked to give a lecture in January. The prize was awarded to Colin Pillinger in 2011, and he gives his lecture today. It's being broadcast live from 5.30pm, but will be available to watch in the Royal Society archives in a couple of days.

Colin Pillinger lead the Beagle 2 project to send an exploration vehicle to Mars. It didn't work. That's not unusual for Mars missions, though; it's a very long way away, after all. The idea, and it was a noble one, was to search for signs of life. So basically, Colin Pillinger is a Martian hunter - reason enough to listen to his lecture today. He's had an interesting career and his contribution to the promotion and popularisation of science is undeniable, so he's a very worthy winner.

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