The Daedalus Lecture

2nd Daedalus Lecture

Professor David Leigh, FRS
October 8th, 2019
Newcastle University (main campus)

Venue to be confirmed

The second Daedalus Lecture will be presented by Professor David Leigh FRS (University of Manchester) on October 8th 2019 at Newcastle University (main campus). Professor Leigh’s research lies within the realm of artificial intelligence-supported nanotechnology. This is a world in which molecular machines operate tirelessly to perform useful functions. Molecular robots carry instructions to the synchronised machines and remove the products for transport and storage. It is easy to imagine Daedalus working in this miniaturised universe where the disparity between real and imaginary gets evermore blurred. This state of confusion is exacerbated by real-time magic in the form of conjuring tricks. For further information contact Professor Anthony Harriman (


5.30 pm Introduction by Prof. Bernard Golding
5.35 pm Background by Peter Jones
5.45 pm Lecture by Prof. David Leigh
6.45 pm Conclusion by Prof. Anthony Harriman
7.00 pm Wine reception

Daedalus, the fictional inventor for DREADCO, gave rise to the prediction of fullerenes, arsenic in Napoleon's wallpaper, chemical gardens in space, stability of the bicycle, fake perpetual motion machines and many other mind-boggling scientific schemes. In fact, Daedalus was the pen name used by Dr David EH Jones who wrote weekly columns for the New Scientist for almost forty years. His creation was a truly remarkable character, perhaps unique in his ambitions and fantasies, who could foresee the future. It was Daedalus who discussed 3D printing some ten years before its actual discovery.

The lecture will apply the basic Daedalus doctrine – think up something unknown but potentially useful and propose a cunning solution that might be, or there again maybe not, flawed. The intention is to challenge, enthral and engage the audience by suggesting outlandish applications of seemingly sound scientific principles. We might even predict future scientific innovations.