Following the resounding success of the first Cambridge Cutting Edge Lecture delivered by Sir Venki Ramakrishnan at the Institut Pasteur, we are immensely lucky to have another scientist of world renown for the second lecture, Professor Sir Roger Penrose, and to have been permitted most generously by the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers to hold this lecture in their beautiful, historic amphitheatre Abbé Grégoire. This event is very highly recommended.
Sir Roger Penrose OM FRS is an English mathematical physicist. He studied at University College London and at St John’s College Cambridge and is now the Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of mathematics at Oxford.
The son of a psychiatrist and geneticist, grandson of a physiologist, brother of a physicist and of a chess grandmaster, Roger Penrose has won numerous prizes and awards and is one of the most important living scientists in the world. He worked closely with Stephen Hawking and appeared in the film, a Brief History of Time.
The work undertaken by Roger Penrose has been wide ranging and of immense importance. Taking but two examples: in 1964 he revolutionised the mathematical tools used to analyse the properties of space time and, later, his epoch-making paper “Gravitational collapse and space time singularities” lead to the cosmology of Big Bang and Black Holes which he worked on with Stephen Hawking.
In lighter vein, Roger Penrose also devised the Penrose Triangle which he described as “impossibility in its purest form” which he conveyed to the artist M.C. Escher.
The topic of Professor Penrose’s Cambridge Cutting Edge Lecture is “Hawking Points in the Cosmic Microwave Sky” in which he will reveal his theories of cosmology and his scientific belief that our Universe is in fact just one of a series of Universes, or eons, each commencing with a Big Bang that had its origins in the dim distant past of a preceding Universe.
Having attended one of Roger Penrose’s lectures in London, I can only say that it was utterly astounding. Deep, cutting edge, completely incomprehensible science delivered in a way that was, anyway superficially, understandable by all, holding the audience enthralled. By the end, my head was spinning with ideas and revelations beyond my wildest expectations.
Over and above, there will be the delight of seeing the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers and the beautiful historic amphitheatre Abbé Grégoire, built in the 1840s, named after the founder of the Conservatoire, an important political figure during the French Revolution depicted in David’s famous painting The Serment du Jeu de Paume.
This lecture by Professor Sir Roger Penrose will probably be a one-off ever and a landmark experience for many. It is definitely not to be missed.