Salon North

Wednesday 11th July 2012


Chasing Venus: The Race to Measure the Heavens :

This summer an extremely rare celestial event took place- the transit of Venus. Award-winning writer Andrea Wulf tells the story of the planet's adventure - round one. In 1761 the scientific community believed if they could measure the transit form as many and as far apart locations across the globe, they would finally be able to calculate our place in the universe. Hundreds of ambitious astronomers and their massive instruments were dispatched to observe the Venus’s march across the sun. At a time when war was tearing Europe and much of the rest of the world apart, they overcame political, geographical and intellectual boundaries – all in the name of science. In this first ever global scientific collaboration, on which makes CERN look like a walk down a Swiss nursery slope.

The Psychology of Laughter:

Why do we laugh? What is its point exactly? Academic and laughter practitioners Geoff and Gill Lowe have spent their psychological careers explaining exactly why, and educating corporations and universities to understand laughter better. The benefits of using laughter are palpable, and Geoff and Gill will be explaining just how to use laughter in a far more beneficial way. Don’t worry if you suspect you might be lacking the advanced humour gene for this practical session. All you need to get introduced to the world of laughter is to stretch out, relax and breathe, which by the way, is something we recommend in all our Salon sessions.

Nature Disco: Dawn Safari :

For our final session we are so privileged to have coming to Salon North the magic that is super sound recordist Chris Watson. If you have ever heard the sound of an animal putting tooth to flesh in any of the David Attenborough’s series it is our Chris who was there, literally placing his boom deep inside the leopard’s mouth. David Attenborough will work with no-one else, and Chris has built up, over many decades travelling a world class sound archive. If it’s sounds of ice fields groaning as they split apart deep under the ice caps or electrical storm in the Serengeti desert you want, Chris is your go to sound guy. For Salon North Chris will be taking us on select sound safari, playing the sounds of the dawn during our British summertime. From the tip of the Orkneys to the far west of the British Isles, Chris will be playing the sounds of our nation’s dawn in Salon’s very own nature disco.


  • Andrea Wulf

    Andrea Wulf

    Measuring the Heavens

    Andrea Wulf was born in India, moved to Germany as a child, and now lives in Britain where she trained as a design historian at the Royal College of Art. She is the author of several books including “The Brother Gardeners. Botany, . . .
  • Chris Watson

    Chris Watson

    Nature Disco

    Watson is one of the world's leading recorders of wildlife and natural phenomena, and for Touch he edits his field recordings into a filmic narrative. For example. the unearthly groaning of ice in an Icelandic glacier is a classic . . .