The irrepressible Bristol-born Johnny Ball has been a passionate advocate of mathematics for over 40 years, opening up the subject for a popular audience with wit and wisdom. His latest book Wonders Beyond Numbers aims to be the most readable history of maths ever written – and you don’t have to like maths to be engaged by his talk tonight. He starts in Bristol where, aged around 8, he was shown how the Russians do multiplication using a halving and doubling system, which is really a version of Binary Maths, which enables all our modern electronic technology to function. He then moves through maths history showing how those who came up with new ideas, did it to simplify maths and not make it more complex or confusing. He also explains how his approach to maths would improve the modern Maths curriculum and make it both more exciting and more empowering for young people. He ends with the story of Isaac Newton’s discovery and explanation of Gravity, which he maintains had nothing what so ever to do with apples!