Science and nature courses in London
Look to the stars or stay closer to home with a wide range of topical and specialist short courses on subjects including astronomy, evolution, ecosystems and genetics that are ideal for anyone curious about our planet and what lies beyond it.
Read City Lit tutor Brenna Boyle's guide to London's diverse wildlife.
Course Date: Sun 22 Sep 2019 (and 2 other dates)
Location on this date: KS - Keeley StreetA leisurely walk through back garden astronomy. Learn how to find your way around the constellations, whether to buy a telescope, how to find planets and look safely at the sun. Find out why astronomy is good for you.Full fee: £59.00Senior fee: £47.00Concession: £30.00
Course Date: Sun 22 Sep 2019
Location on this date: KS - Keeley StreetDiscover the wildlife, habitats and environmental history of London’s heaths and commons during this relaxed walking programme. First session at City Lit followed by three guided walks of approximately 2 hours within easy access of central London.
Brenna Boyle (B.Sc Hons Dunelm, M.Sc DIC) is a zoologist, wildlife guide and environmental teacher. She runs Wild Capital; London's wildlife discovery service and also works for two urban environmental education charities.Full fee: £79.00Senior fee: £63.00Concession: £40.00
Course Date: Tue 24 Sep 2019
Location on this date: KS - Keeley StreetWhat does identify theft entail? What risks do you run? Learn how to protect yourself from identify theft on this course.Full fee: £39.00Senior fee: £39.00Concession: £24.00
Course Date: Fri 27 Sep 2019
Location on this date: KS - Keeley StreetLearn how to troubleshoot and solve common computer hardware problems. Discover what is inside a computer, how it works and how to upgrade computer components.Full fee: £199.00Senior fee: £199.00Concession: £121.00
Course Date: Thu 3 Oct 2019
Location on this date: KS - Keeley StreetDo you want to know about the origin and future of the universe? Will the universe expand forever? Discuss the latest evidence. Examine the current theories. Repeat the most important cosmological observation ever made!Full fee: £149.00Senior fee: £149.00Concession: £66.00
Science guest lecture: Professor Hilary Downes: Lost planets of the solar system - the evidence from meteoritesCourse Date: Fri 4 Oct 2019
Location on this date: KS - Keeley StreetHilary Downes, Professor of Geochemistry, Birkbeck, University of London, helps us to understand the history of the Solar System through the evidence from meteorites.
The early Solar System was a violent place with many collisions between different asteroids and planetary embryos. The results of this chaos can be seen in meteorites which have fallen to Earth. Some meteorites can be linked with planets or asteroids that are still in the Solar System, such as the Moon, Mars and asteroid Vesta, but many meteorites contain small fragments of planets and asteroids which have been otherwise lost or destroyed.
Prof Downes’s work in geological sciences has included research into volcanic deposits in Canada and France as well as studies of fragments of the Earth's mantle ("xenoliths") which are brought to the surface in volcanic eruptions. Now Professor of Geochemistry in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Birkbeck, she also works in the study of meteorites in collaboration with colleagues at the Natural History Museum and NASA.Full fee: £15.00Senior fee: £15.00Concession: £15.00
Course Date: Sat 12 Oct 2019
Location on this date: KS - Keeley StreetToday's apes are few in number but, millions of years ago, apes ruled the primate world. Discover why they were so successful and why they disappeared. Explore key topics in their evolution and find out about great apes around the world today.
Dr Kathleen Bryson received her PhD in Biological Anthropology from University College London, and has taught human evolution and primatology at UCL, and Westminster School. She specialises in studies of ambiguity tolerance in humans and other great apes, in particular evolutionary theory applied to ingroup/outgroup distinctions. .Full fee: £59.00Senior fee: £47.00Concession: £30.00
Course Date: Sat 12 Oct 2019
Location on this date: KS - Keeley StreetWould you like to know your ash from your elm, your plane from your maple? Learn key clues for identification in class followed by a gentle stroll round local gardens and squares to enjoy the rich diversity of introduced and native trees. A must for all tree lovers.Full fee: £149.00Senior fee: £119.00Concession: £75.00
Course Date: Tue 15 Oct 2019
Location on this date: KS - Keeley StreetCloud computing uses the internet to provide shared computing resources on demand. Learn about the major operators in this business and how to avoid expensive hardware costs by renting what you need when you need it.Full fee: £49.00Senior fee: £49.00Concession: £30.00
Course Date: Wed 16 Oct 2019
Location on this date: KS - Keeley StreetEnjoy fresh air and varied scenery on this relaxed course spotting and identifying London’s birdlife. Learn about avian natural history and improve your wildlife watching skills. First session at City Lit 10.15 -12.15 followed by three guided fieldtrips in different London locations 11:00 - 13:00.Full fee: £79.00Senior fee: £63.00Concession: £35.00
Course Date: Thu 17 Oct 2019 (and 1 other date)
Location on this date: KS - Keeley StreetOne of the great advances in technology is that machines can learn without humans teaching them explicit rules – e.g. letting machines train on samples of speech allows Siri to recognise your commands. Machine learning is a large part of artificial intelligence, and a mystery to most of us. This practical course teaches you how to program learning algorithms in Python. We will cover fundamentals of classification, natural language processing, financial predictions and much more. You will learn elements of data mining, how to choose a learning algorithm, and how to tweak parameters of the algorithm. We will briefly cover the theory behind the algorithms, so some maths knowledge is useful, but not required. To enrol, you must have experience with Python or a similar programming language, e.g. have taken City Lit’s Introduction to Python or Introduction to R programming course.Full fee: £249.00Senior fee: £249.00Concession: £152.00
Science guest lecture : Professor Matthew Longo: the body in the brain - the psychology and neuroscience of body perceptionCourse Date: Fri 18 Oct 2019
Location on this date: KS - Keeley StreetAlthough our own body is perhaps the most familiar of all objects in the world, recent findings have revealed that in many cases the brain appears to maintain remarkably impoverished and distorted body representations.Professor Longo's lecture will explore the mental representation of our body and how this shapes perception.
Matthew Longo is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Birkbeck, University of London where he directs the Body Representation Laboratory. He is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science.
I.Full fee: £15.00Senior fee: £15.00Concession: £15.00
Course Date: Sun 20 Oct 2019
Location on this date: KS - Keeley StreetStephen Hawking and Elon Musk say it's humanity's biggest threat, but you use it every day. Learn what artificial intelligence is, what it will become, and how it works.Full fee: £99.00Senior fee: £99.00Concession: £99.00
Psyched! An interactive science evening in collaboration with Birkbeck, University of London, Department of Psychological Sciences: the role of disgustCourse Date: Thu 24 Oct 2019
Location on this date: KS - Keeley StreetPsyched! - an insider’s look at how the brain works and how evolution affects the way you think, feel and behave.
How can the sound of someone being sick make you gag – yet a painting with gory wounds and severed limbs can appear beautiful? In the run up to Halloween, come and have some fun being disgusted at Psyched! Delivered in partnership with Birkbeck, University of London, Department of Psychological Sciences.Full fee: £9.00Senior fee: £9.00Concession: £9.00
Course Date: Mon 28 Oct 2019
Location on this date: KS - Keeley StreetDiscover the delights of some small gardens in London's Square Mile, where rich planting enhances historic sites. Special trees are a highlight. Practical plant identification will be provided at City Lit in the morning, with a guided walk in the afternoon.
Letta Jones, MA, is a Lecturer in Horticulture and Garden History. She taught at Capel Manor and Birkbeck Colleges for 15 years as well as at the City Lit. She is a is a Green Flag Parks judge.Full fee: £59.00Senior fee: £47.00Concession: £26.00
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