Ancestors: Alice Roberts in Conversation with Adam Rutherford

7.30pm, Monday 17 May

This is an online event hosted on the British Library platform. Bookers will be sent a link in advance giving access and will be able to watch at any time for 48 hours after the start time.

We often think of Britain springing from nowhere with the arrival of the Romans, but we know a huge amount about the Britons that lived here before them, from the burial sites they left behind. Their stories are told through their bones and funerary offerings, preserved in the ground for thousands of years.

In her groundbreaking new book Ancestors, pre-eminent archaeologist, broadcaster and academic Professor Alice Roberts uses seven fascinating burial sites as a route to understanding more about ourselves and our history: how people came and went; how we came to be on this island.

For this special event she talks to geneticist, science writer, and broadcaster Dr Adam Rutherford, himself one of our leading experts on our pasts.


Professor Alice Roberts is an academic, author and broadcaster, specialising in human anatomy, physiology, evolution, archaeology and history. She is the author of Tamed: Ten Species That Changed Our World, The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being, which was shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize, and The Incredible Human Journey. Alice has been a Professor of Public Engagement with Science at the University of Birmingham since 2012.

Dr Adam Rutherford is a geneticist, science writer, and broadcaster. He studied genetics at University College London, and during his PhD on the developing eye, he was part of a team that identified the first known genetic cause of a form of childhood blindness. He has written and presented many award-winning series and programmes. He is also the author of How to Argue With a Racist, an incisive guide to what modern genetics can and can’t tell us about human difference; A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in nonfiction; and Creation, on the origin of life and synthetic biology, which was shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize.