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London Thinks – The Science and Ethics of Doctor Who

Journalist Samira Ahmed will grill authors Simon Guerrier and Dr Marek Kukula about the ethics of using science in war – both real and in Doctor Who.

Every moment in time and space is burning, the result of a huge war between the Daleks and the Doctor’s own people, the Time Lords. The Doctor can end the conflict using a special super-weapon. All of space and time will be saved, but he’ll destroy every Dalek and Time Lord, including 2.47 billion Time Lord children. Does he have the right?

This moral dilemma, from Doctor Who’s special 50th anniversary episode, The Day of the Doctor, is explored in a new book – The Scientific Secrets of Dr Who*. At a special event at Conway Hall on 29 July, Samira Ahmed will grill authors Simon Guerrier and Dr Marek Kukula about the ethics of using science in war – both real and in Doctor Who.

Hasn’t the Doctor always used science and intelligence to battle monsters? Wasn’t he scientific adviser to the military group UNIT? Why is he so rude to Clara’s boyfriend Danny – who used to be soldier?

Doctor Who stories are many things: thrilling adventures, historical dramas, tales of love and war and jelly babies. They’re also science fiction – but how many of the dilemmas are actually real, and how much is really fiction?

It will make you laugh, and think, and see the world around you differently. Because anything could be out there. And going out there is the only way to learn what it is.

*Books will be available to purchase on the night. Some of the ticket prices include a copy of the book to collect on arrival. Real Time Lord not included.

As a boy Dr Marek Kukula wanted to be a Time Lord but decided that being an astronomer was the next best thing as it seemed to tackle the biggest questions in the universe. After a PhD in Radio Astronomy at Jodrell Bank Observatory a series of research posts took him to telescopes all over the world and included two years working in the US with the Hubble Space Telescope. As Public Astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich his job is to explain the latest discoveries in space to the public and media.

Simon Guerrier has written countless Doctor Who books, comics, audio plays and documentaries. As research for one of his Doctor Who stories, he studied GCSE astronomy at the Royal Observatory Greenwich – which resulted in an A* and the plot for another Doctor Who story. Simon regularly writes for Horrible Histories Magazine and medical journal The Lancet Psychiatry. With his brother Thomas, Simon also makes films and documentaries – most recently The Fundamentalist Queen, about the wife of Oliver Cromwell, broadcast on Radio 3 in December 2014.


Dr Marek Kukula | talks
Simon Guerrier | talks
Samira Ahmed | talks | www


Date and Time:

29 July 2015 at 7:30 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Conway Hall
Conway Hall
25 Red Lion Square
0207 242 8034

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£5 - 10

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