*(A report by Richard Elwes from the launch of the London Mathematical Society’s 150th birthday year. All the talks are available to watch online at the LMS’ birthday portal)*

There’s a standard format for celebrating a mathematical milestone, perhaps the 80th birthday of some deeply eminent number theorist. His collaborators and graduate students, and their graduate students, and *their* graduate students all gather together in some gorgeous location to regale each other with their latest theorems, while the rest of the world pays no attention. For the London Mathematical Society’s birthday, we had something different. Well, we did have the gorgeous location. The Goldsmiths’ hall in London is a magnificent venue, and the livery hall in particular was evidently designed by someone with a peculiar fondness for Element 79. (See for yourself.) But speaker-wise, a decision had obviously been taken that the party would be an outward-looking affair. The focus was not so much on the LMS, or even on maths per se, but on our subject’s ability to *unlock worlds*, particularly the worlds of TV, film, and computer games.