Space Lectures

Monthly adult evening lectures, each followed by a short planetarium show.

These Wednesday lectures are aimed at a level a little above most popular science lectures, so come prepared to exercise your brain and learn the science behind the headlines. The speakers are chosen from the best academic speakers in the UK, with a talent for explaining difficult concepts and the knowledge to give the very latest news from the research community. 

Although the primary audience is adults, older children are also welcome to attend.


4:30pm lecture £8/£6

6:30pm lecture £10/£8  

Multiple bookings: 5-for-4 ticket offer for phone or in-person bookings only. You must book all five tickets at the same time, specifying all dates and times. The cheapest ticket is free. 

Groups of 15 people or more from recognised organisations can save 20% off the ticket prices for this event (offer also applies to After Dark ). Please visit the groups page for further information.


Lectures run on the second Wednesday of the month.

This year's dates are September 13, October 11, November 8, December 13, January 10, February 21, March 14, April 18, May 9, June 13 and July 11.

Click the title for further information:

11 July 2018 - Valhalla, Discworld and 21st Century Cosmology

Professor Bernard Jones (University of Groningen) with Marlies van de Weijgaert (University of Groningen)

Lecture: Cosmology has made gigantic leaps over the last half century. Our perception of the Universe has undergone a shift. We now ‘know’ that it expanded from a Hot Big Bang; we know its size, its temperature and how fast it is expanding, and all of this with a precision undreamt of only 50 years ago. We now have our ‘Standard Model of the Universe’.

This knowledge, besides painting a beautiful new picture of our universe, has also revealed a deeper and unexpected mystery: if our Standard Model is correct, we have no idea what 95% of the universe is made of! Will our current model ultimately go the same way as Epicycles, the Heliocentric view, Valhalla and the Discworld?

Professor Bernard Jones has been responsible for many contributions to our theoretical and observational understanding of the universe. His main interest has been the evolution of cosmic structures on both very large and smaller scales.  He was one of the first to systematically address the question of galaxy formation.  Last year, his book "Precision Cosmology: The First Half Million Years", was published by Cambridge University Press. The book was the 2017 Winner of the Choice Outstanding Academic Title.

Bernard started his career as a graduate student in Cambridge in 1968, where he worked with Dennis Sciama and Martin Rees. Afterwards, he travelled to the other side of the ocean to work with Jim Peebles in Princeton and Joe Silk in Berkeley, before returning to England in 1975 to work at the Institute for Astronomy in Cambridge for the next 6 years. In 1981, he left for the European mainland, spending two years at the Observatoire de Meudon in Paris, then moving north to the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen, Denmark, enjoying sabbaticals in the Netherlands and the UK. Together with some colleagues he managed to set up the Theoretical Astrophysics Centre in Copenhagen.

Since 2004, he has been formally attached to the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute in Groningen, where he is Emeritus Professor. His current work is concerned with the understanding of cosmic structures through the analysis of very large observational and simulated cosmological datasets.

His wife, Janet, was also a cosmologist in Cambridge, Princeton, Berkeley, Paris and Copenhagen. Together in Denmark they decided to start a hi-tech company exploiting what they had learned in astrophysics in the computer analysis of real time and recorded video data. This year they are working on using video as the basis for an AI memory aid for the elderly.


4.30pm Space Lecture tickets include:


Entry to upper exhibition and cafe


Lecture followed by Q&A and a short break


Planetarium show


Event ends


6.30pm Space Lecture tickets include:


Entry to upper exhibition and cafe


Lecture followed by Q&A and a short break


Planetarium show


Event ends, Science Centre closes

Wednesday 11 July
Wednesday 11 July
No results found


Visual warning: as with all planetarium shows, the show taking place after the lecture includes large moving images which may affect people with photosensitive epilepsy, balance disorders and/or extreme motion sickness.