For the first time in their 189 year history, the famous Royal Society Christmas lectures roll into Manchester tomorrow.

The ‘Modern Alchemist’ Christmas Lectures will be presented by Peter Wothers and promise a spectacular display of fiery explosions and amazing chemical reactions at two events tomorrow.

The show follows the popular 2012 Christmas Lectures series held by the Royal Institution, which was presented by Dr Wothers, a teaching Fellow with the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge.

‘The Modern Alchemist’ series, shown on BBC Four, proved so successful that the Ri and Dr Wothers teamed up with the Royal Society of Chemistry to put on a touring lecture show.

Like the Christmas Lectures, the live show echoes the explosive stunts and sense of spectacle created by medieval alchemists for their royal masters. But unlike the showmen of the Middle Ages,who never gave away the secrets behind their spectacular stage tricks, Dr Wothers always uses the impressive feats as a way of explaining the scientific principles at work.

He said: “The ‘Modern Alchemist’ tour is an opportunity to build on the work I did with the Royal Society of Chemistry during the development of the 2012 Christmas Lectures.
“I think it’s hugely important to make chemistry accessible to new audiences, which is also one of the fundamental principles of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Royal Charter and the Ri’s mission of encouraging people to think more deeply about the wonders of science.”

The tour, which has dates in Leicester, the Scottish Highlands, Pontypridd, Harrogate, Plymouth and Norwich, rolls into Manchester, is in Manchester on June 17th.
There will be shows run for groups of school students in the afternoon and for members of the public and family audiences in the evening (6-7pm). Tickets for the evening show (and details of timing and venue) are available via the following link:

The Modern Alchemist: Manchester takes place at the University of Manchester’s Renold Building, Sackville Street, from 6pm to 7.15pm on Tuesday, June 17. Tickets (£5 standard/£2.50 concessions) available by emailing


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