A professor from the University of Bath will present the 80th anniversary Royal Institution lectures this Christmas,  highlighting the vital importance of battery technology and energy harvesting in the modern world.

‘Supercharged: Fuelling the Future’ is part of the world’s oldest televised science series and will focus on energy as its scientific theme.

“To be the Christmas Lecturer for this 80th anniversary year is a huge honour,” said Prof Islam. “I’m excited that our celebration of energy offers a wonderful opportunity to explain how current cutting-edge research on clean energy technologies is founded on the Royal Institution’s rich heritage of discovery by greats such as Michael Faraday. And I’m also looking forward to recreating some memorable moments from previous lectures with the help of some very special guests.”

80th-anniversary celebration

In this year’s commemorative series, demonstrations will be inspired by classic television moments from past Lectures which include Sir David Attenborough’s ‘The Language of Animals’ from 1973, George Porter’s ‘The Natural History of a Sunbeam’ from 1976, Nancy Rothwell’s ‘Staying Alive’ from 1998, Peter Wothers’s ‘The Modern Alchemist’ from 2012 and Danielle George’s ‘Sparks will fly’ from 2014.

The lectures start by recreating Michael Faraday’s famous 19th-century experiments in spectacular 21st-century style, and ending by exploring his own cutting-edge area of expertise – the materials needed to create next-generation clean energy devices such as lithium batteries, solar cells and hydrogen fuel cells.

The topic of ‘energy’ was chosen to celebrate the life and work of Michael Faraday, one of the UK and Royal Institution’s most significant scientific figures, whose belief in the value of science education for children led to the first Christmas Lectures in 1825. Faraday went on to present 19 series.

“Saiful has two qualities that make him a perfect choice for this celebratory year: like Faraday he understands the importance of igniting a passion for science in young people, and his research carries forward the incredible legacy of Faraday’s discoveries into the 21st century,” said Prof Gail Cardew, Professor of Science, Culture and Society at the Royal Institution. “We have received so many letters and emails over the years from people who have incredibly fond memories of watching the Christmas Lectures with their families as a child, and are now enjoy watching them with their own children, and even grandchildren.

“This 80th year anniversary is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate how the Lectures have captured the hearts and minds of so many people and to look ahead to how we can build on this legacy to inspire even more generations to come.”

The 2016 Christmas Lectures will be filmed in the Royal Institution’s theatre in London on 10, 13 and 15 December 2016. Tickets to the filming of the Christmas Lectures are available by a ballot in September open to members and patrons of the Royal Institution and UK registered schools only.

To find out how to join the Royal Institution and apply for tickets visit www.rigb.org/christmas-lectures