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The Museum of Life Sciences plays host to a programme of events throughout the year, including its own lecture series, Lectures in Life Sciences. This aims to promote an interest in, and understanding of, the Life Sciences throughout the college and lectures are designed to be accessible to the general college community. Each is followed by an informal reception in the Museum, where members of the audience can meet each other as well as the speaker and where, if possible, a small selection of relevant specimens is exhibited.

Previous lectures have included:

  • Animals, Pathologists & Medicine
  • How large animals (including humans) overcome gravity
  • Another Blow for Life Sciences: The blowfish and tetrodotoxin
  • Labour Pains? Blame them on the placoderms
  • Blowflies: friends, foes and forensics
  • Chinese Herbal Medicine in the UK: Is it here to stay?
  • Darwin’s creatures revisited: a whole new can of worms
  • Gender-Bending Chemicals
  • Getting a bite together: how tooth patterns form
  • Human Evolution
  • Parasitic Flatworms: the good, the bad and the ugly
  • Plant Aphrodisiacs: the perfect Valentine’s Day gift?
  • Venomous Animals
  • The origin of our species
  • Alan Turing and the enigma of biological form


Past events: Open House at the Museum of Life Sciences

When: 1 June 2016 and 31 May 2017

A rare opportunity to explore the Museum of Life Sciences, a ‘small gem in the heart of London’!

    • Discover how our baby elephant got its head back
    • Make a tooth for our crocodile
    • 'Find the bone' on yourself and other animals
    • Try your hand at our unique jigsaw of the Tree of Life
    • Get some hands-on experience of handling zoological specimens at our ‘handling table’

Some of the museums’ historic microscope slides and plant specimens will be on display too, and you can also watch our regular art-group at work – as well as doing some drawing of your own.

Visitors are also free to examine the eclectic range of plant, animal and pharmaceutical specimens housed in the museum and view the unique collection of glass sculptures and models which celebrate the role of King’s College in the discovery of the structure of DNA.

Suitable for adults and accompanied children. All welcome.



Bees wax candlesExhibitions of particular specimens and their significance are staged from time to time. Recent such events include:

Animal Materials and Making:
part of the college-wide Festival of Making (Nov 2011). This displayed materials showed how certain compounds such as calcium carbonate (eg in coral skeletons); keratin in wool and hair, bees’ wax and honey are synthesised in animals and used by both the animal concerned and by man.

Darwin’s Dilemma:
Evolution, Genes and DNA: part of the London-wide London Festival of Science. This exhibition illustrated how our knowledge of DNA helps to answer Darwin’s major dilemma: how characters are passed from generation to generation and yet animals vary within and between generations. Examples of specimens showing how natural selection has led to various adaptations as shown in the eye and in the vertebrate limb were on display together with specimens for which the genetic control of development of certain features in now known.

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