Experts – Take part!

The Royal Institution CHRISTMAS LECTURES will be aired over the festive period and throughout January 2019, viewers and schools will use to put their questions to experts. The online CHRISTMAS LECTURES Zone will be promoted to the public and school students through I’m a Scientist and the Royal Institution.

Apply now ❯

A researcher answers a question in the 2016 CHRISTMAS LECTURES Zone on Energy

Why take part as an expert?

The online forum allows a deeper discussion around the CHRISTMAS LECTURES and its theme, Who am I?

Experts (that’s you) see what questions and concerns the public have, and the public have the opportunity to explore the topics raised in much greater depth. Students in school classes also get to connect with the experts in live chats, see them as real, relatable people, and maybe picture themselves doing the same thing when they grow up.

For the people answering questions, it’s also a great way to practice communication skills. The platform helps you hone your messages and work out the best ways to explain your work to a wide audience, but in a flexible format designed to work around your availability.

And if that’s not enough, then whisper it, we hear taking part is actually really enjoyable:

“Love, love, loving taking part in @imascientist, so much fun, very engaging” – Scientist, November 2017

How does it work?

There’ll be a mix of experts live on the site throughout January to answer questions related the themes of the Lectures, covering anatomy, genetics, evolution and ethics.


Experts taking part in last year’s event, including host Sophie Scott

You log in to interact online in two ways;

You can answer the ASK questions whenever and wherever suits them. This will be using a simple web interface, much like sending an email. The live chat will be moderated, and works in a similar way to instant messaging. Each chat runs for 30 minutes and is scheduled during school hours.


If you take part you’ll be ‘live’ on the site throughout January. You’ll get to answer relevant ASK questions and sign up for at least 10 live chat sessions with the schools. We expect the time commitment will be around 45 minutes to an hour on days that you log in, and won’t take up more than two hours. Remember, it all happens online so you can answer questions or do chats whenever and wherever you happen to be. You do not need to log in every day during January. Unless you really want to

How can I take part?

Fill in the short application form here:

Apply now ❯

or email Antony at with the following info:

  • where you work
  • any notes on your availability, for example any weeks you won’t be available at all to answer questions between 7th January to 1st February
  • a couple of sentences summarising your work and how it relates to the CHRISTMAS LECTURES Zone themes, e.g. evolution, anatomy, genetics and identity.

The deadline to sign up is 14th December. We’ll start confirming the people taking part before Christmas. Every expert will have a short online profile (with picture and short bio) to fill in before the New Year.

If you want to know more, please give Antony a call on 01225 326 892.