Last Friday saw the premiere of The Royal Institution’s latest public event series: Ri Lates. These adult-only events aim to bring hands-on science to adults – because why should kids have all the fun?!

This debut edition was titled Ri Lates: Rules of Attraction, and featured a variety of activities around that subject, all the way from magnets and blues dancing classes to heart dissections and talks on animal sex. And it was a roaring (get it?) success!

Because this was the first time the Ri have done a Late event, behind the scenes the team were understandably nervous that it would be a wouldn’t go well. But advance ticket sales looked really promising, and so by the time Friday came around everyone was just very excited – especially when we realised people had started queuing outside! (see tweet below)

Earlier that afternoon, we began preparing for the event. And when I say ‘we’, I mean the whole Ri team. Everyone, no matter what their daily job, pulled together and did something to contribute to the evening. It was so lovely to see the whole team come together to work towards one goal – to make the evening a success. No matter how little, everyone did something, from laminating signs to setting up activity tables. We had a wonderful team of volunteers too, who come to help at Family Fun Days and other events. These events just couldn’t run without them.

And that’s what really excites me about the Royal Institution – it’s a massive cliché, but it feels like a big family. They’re so welcoming to people who are new or interning or volunteering, and they include you in everything, with a wonderful team spirit of everybody just chipping in. Ideas and problems are regularly thrown out to the whole office for discussion, often ending up in laughter and with a lot of suggestions! I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been in a happier working environment. (Can you tell I really don’t want this internship to end?!)

Anyway, the event ran smoothly (apart from a couple of false fire alarms set off by the gunpowder workshop!) and everyone I met was just so keen to get involved with the science. I was on the heart dissection stand (when I wasn’t running around taking photos) and I expected there to be at least some people who were grossed out, but everyone eagerly put on a pair of gloves and had a poke – they were pig, sheep and a huge ox heart, in case you’re wondering. And it was packed. It was so good to see the smiles on the Ri team’s faces when they realised that all their hard work had paid off, and people were really engaging and enjoying themselves. Even the CEO of the Royal Institution was there and taking part!

So I’ll leave you with a couple pictures of the evening, so you can get a feel of just what an eclectic and exciting night it was. Official pictures will be up on the Ri Facebook page soon. If you came along, I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!



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