Imperial College London

Helen Sharman delivers inspirational guest lecture


Helen Sharman: From Mars to the Stars

The CLCC Charmian Brinson Honorary Guest Lecturer talked passionately about life in space and the importance of communicating science accurately.

On Monday 27th January 2020, CLCC hosted Dr Helen Sharman, Britain's first astronaut, for the annual Charmian Brinson Honorary Guest Lecture.

In her lecture, 'From Mars to the Stars', Helen took the audience on a journey into space, describing how, as a graduate working in industry, she was selected for a space mission and through that experience, learned to appreciate science in a totally different way.

Speaking to an audience of over 250 people, Helen set the cultural and political scene of the late 1980's and keenly conveyed her personal love of Chemistry and the opportunities it had afforded her. The audience learned about her selection and intensive training at the USSR's Star City ahead of her space mission.

Helen went on to describe in detail the experience of being launched into space and the day-to-day activities inside the Mir Space Station. Stressing the importance of communicating science accurately, she dispelled myths about gravity and weightlessness and wowed the audience with the realities of travelling in a Soyuz spacecraft at orbital velocity.

Helen ended by answering a number of questions from audience members, many of whom described her talk as truly 'inspirational'.

Helen Sharman taking questionsHelen Sharman talking

Dr Helen Sharman uses her experience of spaceflight to communicate science and inspire others to take an interest in science. She has held a number of  posts at Imperial, including Operations Manager for the Chemistry Department and UK Outreach Ambassador. 


Cleo Bowen

Cleo Bowen
Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication