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Randall Munroe: How To

Open up new dimensions on the everyday in this talk by bestselling author and cartoonist Randall Munroe.

In a London exclusive, the creator of webcomic xkcd and the bestselling books What If? and Thing Explainer presents his latest book of comics, How To.

Hear from ‘nerd royalty’ (Ben Goldacre) in a hilarious and insightful talk that opens up new dimensions on the everyday.

The bestselling author and cartoonist invites us into his mind-bending and entertaining world, where cutting-edge science meets the things we do everyday.

Drawing on the cartoons in How To, Munroe shows us highly impractical advice for everything from landing a plane to digging a hole. He offers tips for taking a selfie with a telescope, crossing a river by boiling it, and getting to your appointments on time by destroying the moon.

Randall Munroe is the creator of the webcomic xkcd and bestselling author of What If?, Thing Explainer and xkcd: Volume 0.

Munroe was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, and grew up outside Richmond, Virginia. After studying physics at Christopher Newport University, he got a job building robots at NASA Langley Research Center.

In 2006, he left NASA to draw comics on the internet full time, and has since been nominated for a Hugo Award three times. The International Astronomical Union recently named an asteroid after him: asteroid 4942 Munroe is big enough to cause mass extinction if it ever hits a planet like Earth.

Chairing the event is economist, journalist and broadcaster Tim Harford. He is author of Fifty Things that Made the Modern Economy, Messy and the million-selling The Undercover Economist.

Harford is a senior columnist at the Financial Times and the presenter of Radio 4’s More or Less. He was made an OBE for services to improving economic understanding in the New Year Honours list 2019.

Dates & times

This event has passed.


Royal Festival Hall


£15 - £35
Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)
£15, £25, £35


25% off (limited availability)
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need to know

Age recommendation
For ages 12+

Copies of Randall Munroe’s new book, How To (RRP £16.99) are available for £12.99 when you buy a ticket to the talk. These may be collected at the event.

Southbank Centre takes a strong view on secondary ticketing. We require the lead booker to attend (photo ID may be requested). Tickets can only be resold by Southbank Centre or one of its authorised agents.

Access information
This talk is British Sign Language interpreted (BSL).

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