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Royal Institution Christmas Lectures to be screened live for the first time in Manchester

Professor Alice Roberts, along with Professor Aoife McLysaght from The Genetics Society, asks ‘Who am I?’ and explores our animal ancestors.

Multiple reflections of Professor Alice Roberts' head

There will be an exclusive opportunity to enjoy the Royal Institution’s iconic Christmas Lecture in Manchester ahead of its broadcast on the BBC this December.

The Christmas Lecture series is one of the most entertaining science events of the year, but with a highly limited capacity, opportunities to watch filming take place are few and far between. 

This year, for the first time, the Royal Institution has teamed up with venues outside of London to stream the lectures live as they happen.  

And families in Manchester will have the opportunity to watch Professor Alice Roberts, along with Professor Aoife McLysaght from The Genetics Society, live on screen as she delivers the 2018 lecture on December 11. 

Humans share 99.4% of their genes with other humans, 98.7% with chimpanzees and even 44% with fruit flies—yet we are also entirely unique. In this year's Royal Institution Christmas Lecture, Professors Roberts and McLysaght will seek to answer the most fundamental question: ‘Who am I?’

They will explore our animal family, meeting our distant cousins—from fish to fruit flies—unearthing clues to our evolutionary past and revealing surprising similarities as she discovers our true place in the tree of life.

Alice, who has appeared on Coast, Time Team and Horizon and is Professor of Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham, said:

"The study of biology and our own evolutionary past gives us a really interesting way to understand who we are, today. I’m looking forward to sparking some young imaginations with this amazing area of science.'

"As well as providing us with knowledge about our past and present, though, new technologies can confront us with difficult decisions about what we should do in the future. 

"So I’ll also be asking some challenging questions about what identity means today, and what advances in genetics in particular might mean for us as a species.”

The livestream event will take place at the Science and Industry Museum. Tickets cost £5/£3 for concessions, and are on sale now

To complete the festive experience, there will be mulled wine, mince pies and festive punch on offer, and a team of carol singers to welcome guests on arrival.

Notes to editors

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