Galactic Orchids talks will shed light on the universe and combat female genital mutilation

A scientist is planning a series of monthly talks about astronomy, black holes and the life of stars to raise money for a campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM).

Alice Sheppard, a 30-year old astrophysics postgraduate student, will host the “Galactic Orchids” talks at 7pm on the second Wednesday of every month at Newington Green Unitarian Church, Stoke Newington.

The lectures will be aimed at beginner level and the first talk will be on Galaxy Zoo Forum, the astronomy project Alice helps run, which has discovered an independent class of galaxy.

“The UK’s been exposed as not being very good at tackling mutilation – 20,000 schoolgirls a year have it done to them and nobody’s ever prosecuted,” said Alice.

Entry is �3 and all profits will go to London-based charities, the Orchid Project and Daughters of Eve, which fight the FGM practise and help its victims.