Cunard Line is partnering with Oxford University Press (OUP) to introduce the Cunard/Oxford University Press Science Club, a multi-faceted membership programme featuring the new onboard Science at Sea lectures by prominent science writers. In addition, guests can join the Science Club, affording ongoing opportunities to stay abreast of the latest in popular science publishing through quarterly OUP email newsletters, invitations to book launches and more. The programme kicks off on Queen Mary 2’s 8 April, 2009 westbound Transatlantic voyage—the ship’s first Crossing of the 2009 season—on which three leading scientists and science writers will be on hand for lectures, book signings and interviews.

Headlining the inaugural Science at Sea voyage on 8 April will be authors Jerry Coyne, the American professor of biology known for his commentary on the intelligent design debate; Philip Ball, winner of the Association of British Science Writers award for the best communication of science in a non-scientific context; and Jim Horne, director of the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University. The authors will deliver three lectures each, sign copies of their books and be interviewed by Queen Mary 2’s entertainment director. Additional Science at Sea voyages aboard Queen Mary 2 are scheduled for 13 – 19 June, 29 August – 4 September, and 9 – 15 October, 2009.

“We are delighted to partner with Oxford University Press, the world’s oldest and most prestigious publishing house, to offer the new Science at Sea programme that specifically addresses our guests’ passionate interest in this discipline,” said Carol Marlow, president and managing director of Cunard Line. “Our guests are not merely on a voyage, but on a quest for knowledge and a deeper understanding of the world around them. Whether tackling evolution, genetics or biodiversity, this programme will allow our guests to learn from some of the world’s most accomplished scientists,” Marlow added.

Prior to forming the Science at Sea programme, Cunard surveyed more than 3,000 guests on their interest in science and the particular topics about which they would like to know more. Among the hottest topics are genetics, astronomy and oceanography.

Cunard guests can become members of the Science Club simply by completing a membership card onboard a Science at Sea voyage. Membership will entitle them to quarterly emails from Oxford University Press featuring updates and articles on the upcoming Science at Sea voyages and invitations to book launches, promotional offers, competitions and information on speakers.

“We are thrilled to be working with Cunard on this brand new project as part of their excellent Cunard Insights series for guests,” said Kate Farquhar-Thomson of Oxford University Press’ Academic Division. “Science at Sea offers the very best in science communication with authors selected from our excellent range of popular science publishing here at OUP. We look forward to an exciting programme of talks on board Queen Mary 2 in 2009,” she added.

Science at Sea further illustrates Cunard’s continuing commitment to provide its guests with the industry’s most compelling onboard enrichment opportunities. From the award-winning Cunard Insights programme to the Cunard Book Club, the Line painstakingly pursues the best and brightest minds to tackle thought-provoking and relevant topics of the day.