Friday, March 11, 2005

Bill Bryson lecture impresses

This review of a lecture by Bill Bryson at the Royal Society yesterday was submitted by Anjali Chandra. Thanks Anjali!

Bill Bryson is an inspiring lecturer. His talk today was based on his most recent book "A Short History of Nearly Everything" which won the Aventis Prize last year. He began with humorous anecdotes and then moved on to the main body of his talk. He stated at the beginning that he would not be telling us anything profound but things we already knew.

During his journey for the research of this book he found four profound facts. Firstly that we exist. he reminded us and made us appreciate the miracle of life and secondly the fact that we are all unique. He explained his excitement about science by reminding us that scientists don't know everything (quite a brave comment as the audience was filled with scientists!). It was humbling to truly appreciate how vast space is and as Bill said "Space" is appropriately named. He used the analogy that if a pea was a star then the universe was the Albert Hall filled with peas! His final fact was all this life began from a single moment.

As he said at the beginning he didn't tell us anything new, but it was nice to be reminded to appreciate life and the magnificence of nature. It was a thrilling experience and I look forward to reading more of his work!

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