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  • The Royal Institution of Great Britain 21 Albemarle Street London, England, W1S United Kingdom (map)


Join The Royal Institution for one of their famous discourses; an opportunity to witness first-hand the best and brightest sharing their work with the world.

The ability to remember personally experienced events in vivid, multi-sensory detail makes an immensely important contribution to our lives, allowing us to re-live each moment of a previous encounter and providing us with the store of precious memories that form the building blocks of who we are. Such remembering involves reactivating sensory and perceptual features of an event, and the thoughts and feelings we had when the event occurred, integrating them into a conscious first-person experience. It allows us to make judgments about the things we remember, such as distinguishing events that actually occurred from those we might have imagined or been told about.

Although a great deal is known about the cognitive and neural processes that enable us to recall a word list, for example, considerably less is known about the processes underlying the subjective experience of remembering.

Drawing on inspiration from philosophers and novelists, in this special talk at The Royal Institution Jon Simons will consider the latest evidence from functional neuroimaging and studies of patients with neurological and psychiatric conditions, which is beginning to shed light on the brain mechanisms responsible for the subjective experience of remembering.

Discourses are in fact one of the Ri’s oldest and most prestigious series of talks. Since 1825, audiences in the theatre have witnessed countless mind-expanding moments, including the first public liquefaction of air by James Dewar, the announcement of the electron by J.J. Thomson and over 100 lectures by Michael Faraday. In more recent times, they have had Nobel laureates, Fields medal winners, scientists, authors and artists – all from the cutting-edge of their field.

What to expect?

Steeped in nearly two centuries of tradition, a Discourse is more than just a lecture. To keep the focus on the topic, presenters begin sharply at 7:30pm without introduction and they lock the speaker into a room ten minutes ahead of the start (legend has it that a speaker once tried to escape!)

They also ask guests to dress smartly to add to the sense of occasion (ties optional, no jeans or trainers). Please note, if you are not dressed smartly you may be asked to sit in the gallery.

Members get 37% discount of selected events held by the Royal Institution.

Sign up to see which ones

Date: Friday 23rd March, 7.20pm - 8.45pm

Location: The Royal Institution of Great Britain, 21 Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4BS

Investment: £0 - £20

Please note, this event is not organised by The Merit Club

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