So Sir Roger Penrose is very highly spoken of…
Not only is he one of the world’s leading theoretical physicists but, according to a woman I met while queueing to get in to the Sheldonian (and I’d estimate she was in her fifties), he’s very charismatic too (I wouldn’t have called her a ‘groupie’ but I’d swear I later saw her touching up her lippy in the front row).
Anyway, suffice to say, I was impressed by her obvious adoration, so looked forward to picking up a few tips. And with a talk whose title included in its first four words ‘Fashion, Faith and Fantasy…’ I saw plenty of opportunity to do so.
Suffice to say it was a packed house for a packed brain; a brain whose size if measured would stretch from outside Debenhams to the farthest known reaches of the universe.
And gratifyingly, the audience was not only made up of ageing groupies but an entire alphabet of of ages and backgrounds, from someone who looked four to someone who could easily have qualified as ‘Father Time’.
As it happens I read a book Sir Roger wrote when I was a teenager all about Black Holes and what I didn’t understand then I still don’t understand now but who cares - it was, and is, fascinatingly beautiful and poetic.
“Quantum” this and ‘Quantum” that were bandied around with gay abandon but I did manage to understand a few of the ‘in-science’ jokes.
A brilliant, brilliant speaker and a perfect way to kick off the festival.
I loved it (thought I still can’t understand “Quantum gravity”).