A soiree at the Royal Society. Am not entirely sure why I got invited to this – and I rarely go to anything outside my constituency or my portfolio – but I was seduced by the occasion. A Summer Science Soiree – and it was not like anything I had been to before. The building – the Royal Society itself – is just extraordinary: ornate and breathing history. Standing in line on the stairs waiting to be announced I found myself reading the list of past Presidents of the Royal Society – currently Martin Rees (an Astronomer) who greeted me. Running my eyes to years gone by – it does quite make you tingle to read of Sir Isaac Newton and the like. To me – whose academic association with science is distant (and that’s over-stressing it) – it was a glimpse into an entirely different world inhabited by brain boxes – to whom I am totally attracted!
I wandered around the stands which were not high science – but a sort of sophisticated hands-on version of the Science Museum – so we kids would enjoy ourselves. You could do a surgical operation or plot human motion – amongst other things. I ate, had a couple of glasses, meandered and thoroughly enjoyed myself (I know – shock, horror!). Carriages were at 10pm!