Alison Woollard at the 2013 CHRISTMAS LECTURES

In anticipation of Alison Woollard’s appearance at the CHRISTMAS LECTURES later this month, the Royal Institution is releasing a different video each day between December 1 and Christmas Eve.

You'll also see more of Alison in the media this month. She joined Anne McElvoy on Radio 4 for ‘Start the Week’ on Monday 9 December (available on BBC iPlayer until Monday 16 December) and has been interviewed for ABC Radio in Australia ( She has recently appeared in the Oxford Mail.

Dr Alison Woollard

Image: Paul Wilkinson

The advent calendar videos (, inspired by the ‘Life Fantastic’ lectures, will work their way through the 23 pairs of human chromosomes and the mitochondrial DNA that make up the building blocks of human life.

Highlights include a video featuring the well-known broadcaster and geneticist Dr Adam Rutherford who will explore what ‘junk’ DNA is, a light-hearted look at male baldness with former Christmas lecturer Professor Mark Miodownik, and a visit to Alison’s lab to learn more about the genetic control of development and ageing (see the films on December 4, 5 and 6).

On the Ri’s website (, you can find other information accompanying the lectures including synopses of the three lectures: ‘Where do I come from?’, ‘Am I a mutant?’ and ‘Could I live forever?’

The Ri is also giving the public a chance to pose questions about the science from ‘Life Fantastic’ in its online discussion forum, by teaming up with the science engagement initiative ‘I’m a scientist, get me out of here.’

‘Life Fantastic’ will be filmed in front of a live audience at the Ri on December 14, 17 and 19. The lectures will be broadcast on BBC Four on December 28, 29 and 30 at 8pm.

After appearing on BBC iPlayer, the full series will be available to watch for free on the Ri Channel in January 2014.







Page Last Updated: 10/12/2013 by Jane Itzhaki
© 2013 Department of Biochemistry