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For the past 20 years Paul Johnson, Professor of Theatre and Performance, has worked as an academic and theatre practitioner investigating how scientific ideas can influence performance practice and analysis.

His work looks at how scientists and science have been represented on stage, and how performance itself, especially performance which engages with scientific ideas, can be understood as a thought experiment for ethical decision making.

In his inaugural Professorial Lecture on Tuesday, March 8, Professor Johnson will discuss the theme Performing the Two Cultures: Weaving threads between science and theatre.

Professor Johnson said: “Theatre performance can show well-known scientists, such as Bohr and Heisenberg in Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen, or a particular aspect of science, such as Lucy Prebble’s The Effect, which is set during a clinical drug trial.

"How this is done matters because it shapes what we think science is, how it operates, and the kind of people that should do science or care about it. With the pandemic and climate change as two immediate examples the ways in which we engage with science can be a matter of life and death."

This in-person lecture will take place in the Anna Sutton Building at the University’s Exton Park site. It will also be streamed online. To book a place at the lecture or to receive a streaming link, please email 

Tea and coffee will be served from 6pm in the Foyer of the Anna Sutton Building. The lecture starts at 6.30pm.

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