Tam Dalyell Prize winner lecture

Professor Sergio Della Sala, the winner of our inaugural prize for science communication, gave a public lecture on 10 December.

The Professor delivered the first University of Edinburgh Christmas Lecture before being presented with his prize by former MP Dr Dalyell.

Prof Sergio Della Sala, winner of The Tam Dalyell Prize for Excellence in Engaging the Public with Science.

Lecture video

This event was recorded and is now available on demand. To watch the video you will need Windows Media Player or QuickTime installed on your computer.


Reference to missing Polopoly article: 1.6158sdl_editor_representation {"caption":"Watch Sergio Della Sala's lecture (Windows Media)"}]


Reference to missing Polopoly article: 1.6333sdl_editor_representation {"caption":"Watch Sergio Della Sala's lecture (QuickTime)"}]

Download Windows Media Player

Download QuickTime

The lecture

The lecture, entitled “Tall Tales about the Mind and Brain”, will be held in the George Square Lecture Theatre at 6pm.

Prof Della Sala will explore popular myths about the brain - such as we use only 10% of its power, or that the right half of the brain is creative.

He will also discuss the possible misuse of brain training in schools, and explain whether listening to classical music can make us more intelligent.

The Tam Dalyell Prize

Tam Dalyell

The annual prize - The Tam Dalyell Prize for Excellence in Engaging the Public with Science - is open to all University of Edinburgh staff.

The award recognises an individual or group for work such as hosting school visits, talks and other public events or through publishing and broadcasting.

The winner receives a medal and a grant of £500 for their science communication activity.

Dr Dalyell, who was Rector of the University from 2003 to 2006, wrote a weekly column for New Scientist magazine from 1967 to 2005.

Professor Della Sala

Professor Della Sala, of the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, is an experienced science communicator.

He has engaged widely with the media and taken part in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Edinburgh Book Festival.

It is a privilege to be the first winner of the Tam Dalyell prize and to deliver the first University of Edinburgh Christmas Lecture, and I hope my work in engaging the public has helped people understand the relevance of science and the benefits it can bring to society.

Sergio Della SalaProfessor of Human Cognitive Neuroscience

Event details

University of Edinburgh Christmas Lecture: Tall Tales about the Mind and Brain

Please note: This event may be photographed and/or audio/video recorded for the University’s website and/or promotional and/or recruitment materials.

Wednesday 10 December 2008, 6.00pm

Wednesday 10 December 2008, 7.00pm

George Square Lecture Theatre, George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LK

Find George Square Lecture Theatre on Campus maps