Professor Saiful Islam, Christmas Lecturer 2016. Credit Paul Wilkinson

Professor Saiful Islam to supercharge BBC’s Christmas Lectures

‘Supercharged: Fuelling the future’ is this year’s Christmas Lecture series from the BBC. Illuminating the hidden world of energy that drives everything around us, it will be presented by our very own Professor of Materials Chemistry, Saiful Islam.

It’s 80 years since the first BBC’s Christmas Lectures first broadcast in 1936, making it the world’s oldest science series.  We’re delighted that Saiful will present the series in our own anniversary year, making it a double celebration.

The Christmas Lectures will describe something invisible that drives everything around us, from our bodies to mobile phones, from aeroplanes to all the stars in the universe… energy.

Over three lectures, Professor Saiful Islam will face a big question – what is energy and where does it come from, how can we best make use of it, and how can we store it to use later on?

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Professor Saiful Islam, Christmas Lecturer 2016. Credit Paul Wilkinson.

The lectures will focus on:

Let there be light! – Saiful will explore a subject that the lectures’ founder, Michael Faraday, addressed in the very first programme and which remains one of the most important challenges facing humankind: how to generate energy without destroying the planet in the process. It will be a fascinating and stimulating celebration of the stuff that quite literally makes the universe tick.

People Power – Saiful will investigate how humans as living pulsing machines actually use energy, asking whether it’s possible to ‘supercharge’ the human body and increase its performance. Will we ever be able to improve the human body’s performance? Can we ever do more with less energy?

Fully Charged – In the final lecture, Saiful will explore one of the most important issues facing the modern world – how to store energy. We’ll see him trying to work out how to store enough energy to power a mobile phone for a whole year and still fit it in his pocket!

“To be the Christmas Lecturer for this 80th anniversary year is a huge honour. I’m excited that our celebration of energy offers a wonderful opportunity to explain how current cutting-edge research on clean energy technologies is founded on the Royal Institution’s rich heritage of discovery by greats such as Michael Faraday.”

Professor Saiful Islam

You can watch the Lectures broadcast on BBC FOUR at 8pm on 26, 27 and 28 December.