Past Events

An Audience with Lee Child and Andrew Grant

21 July 2009 at 6.00 pm
Firth Hall, Firth Court, Western Bank

The evening was chaired by Professor Dominic Shellard. The crime-writing brothers discussed Lee's latest top-ten bestseller `Gone Tomorrow´ and Andrew's debut book `Even´.

Lee Child
Lee Child is the international bestselling author of 13 novels and short stories. His work has been translated into over 15 different languages. He was recently top of all four US best-seller lists at once, and his work is hugely popular on both sides of the Atlantic. Lee studied Law at the University of Sheffield and became a Visiting Professors in 2008.

Lee is the creator of one of the most memorable crime fiction characters of all time, Jack Reacher – a man who has tangled with FBI serial killers, assassins and professional killers to mention a few. Film rights to Lee´s books have been bought by Tom Cruise's production company, Cruise/Wagner Productions – the company responsible for the Mission Impossible series and Minority Report.


Andrew Grant
Andrew Grant´s debut novel Even is published on July 3. In it Andrew introduces British naval intelligence officer David Trevellyan, a man born to fight and trained to win, locked in a suspenseful contest with terrifying adversaries.

In December 2008 Even was listed as on the Seattle Mystery Bookshop´s `2009 must read list´. The Bookseller called it: "A stunning debut. Thrilling from the first pages, it does not let up until the shocker of an ending." Comparisons have been made with John Le Carre and Ian Fleming.

Andrew is also Lee's younger brother and, like him, a graduate of the University of Sheffield. They are the only famous crime fiction brothers in the world.

To view a recording of this event, please go to www.shef.ac.uk/eventsteam/events/childgrantrecording.html

Mitchell and Kenyon Evening

Tuesday, 7 July 2009 at 6.00 pm
in Firth Hall, Firth Court, Western Bank

Back by popular demand the award winning Mitchell & Kenyon Collection with a specially curated programme of South Yorkshire and Derbyshire footage including Rotherham, Sheffield, Doncaster and Buxton. With musical accompaniment by Mr Stephen Horne, this rare and special Edwardian footage includes views of Weston Park, the famous Fatty Foulkes, England and Sheffield United goalkeeper, everyday life in Sheffield and Rotherham and well dressings in Buxton. Professor Vanessa Toulmin, co-curator of the Collection and Dr David Fletcher will provide illuminating and additional commentary that will help present a picture of life in South Yorkshire at the dawn of the twentieth century.

My Journey Together
by David Rose, Former Head of Channel 4 Drama

Tuesday, 19 May 2009 at 6pm
Students´ Union Auditorium, University of Sheffield, Western Bank

David Rose's career is remarkable and his influence on British television immense, having championed and nurtured a generation of writers, directors and producers. His title 'My Journey Together' arises from his desire to share his recollections with past colleagues through film of them, specially shot for this presentation.

Joining BBC Television Drama in London in 1954, his direction of dramatised documentaries lead to production of the groundbreaking Z Cars - 176 hour-long 'live' episodes.

Then, as Head of English Regions Drama, based in Birmingham, David Rose launched a memorable series of films and short plays which gave voice to new talent.

After 26 years with the BBC came a change of Channel, being appointed Senior Commissioning Editor Fiction, at the new Channel 4 Television. Here, among a wide range of drama, David Rose implemented a unique policy behind Film on Four - helping to revive the British film industry and at the same time contributing to C4's international reputation.

Through his 'journey' the screen is constantly occupied by a wide variety of images and sounds, after which Questions welcome!


The 18th Sir Arthur Hall Memorial Lecture

'Our Responsibilities and the Opportunities of Improving Healthcare in Developing Countries'


by Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council

Thursday, 19 March 2009
6pm Students' Union Auditiorium, Union of Students' Building, Western Bank

The numerous issues surrounding the healthcare problems of developing countries are widely documented but hitherto the identification of effective solutions and the approach to them are subject to considerable debate.

To view a recording of the lecture, please see www.shef.ac.uk/eventsteam/events/ahrecording.html



Science and Engineering Week

'Cybermen and superhumans: converging technologies in the 21st century'


A public lecture given by

Paul V Hatton. Professor of Biomaterials Science, The University of Sheffield and European EXPERTISSUES Network.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009
7pm Pool Auditorium, Richard Roberts Building, Brook Hill

What links model Katie Price (Jordan), Cybermen, Viagra, King Louie, and the Nazis? If you want to know the answer and more, attend this lecture. Medical engineering and other emerging technologies can now achieve far more than simply alleviation of pain and restoration of function. Human beings can become everything we have ever aspired to be and more. "Converging technologies" have brought us to the point where our species can indeed become superhuman. The presentation will review the current state-of-the-art with respect to converging technologies (in engineering, science, medicine and dentistry), and evaluate the potential impact on the individual and society. These subjects will inevitably raise questions regarding what it is to be human, and should society now use the opportunities presented by modern technology to create the first generation of superhumans?



The 8th Edward Bramley Sheffield Law Lecture

'Law, Religion and Morals'


by The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York

Thursday, 5 March 2009
6pm Firth Hall, Firth Court, Western Bank

Has the separation of the three pillars of English Common Law gone too far? Should the trend be reversed?

Inaugural Lecture

'PROFESSOR VANESSA'S TWENTY PERFORMING WONDERS: THE INTERMEDIALITY OF EARLY FILM AND EDWARDIAN ENTERTAINMENT'


By Professor Vanessa Toulmin
Chair in Early Film and Popular Entertainment

On Wednesday 17 December 2008
at 7.00pm in Firth Hall, Firth Court, Western Bank

Professor Vanessa will be examining the relationship between the world of live entertainment culture and early film produced in the early 1900s, aided by artists Marisa Carnesky, the Insect Circus, Miss Behave, Jon Marshall from Sideshow Illusions with music from Mr Stephen Horne and Miss Anna Scott. Early film footage from the Mitchell & Kenyon Collection, the National Film and Television Archive and Lobster Film will accompany the presentation. Prepare to be amazed by dancing pigs, magical earwigs, burlesque beauties and sword swallowing ladies as the world of Edwardian entertainment is presented, dissected and disseminated for one evening only.

The 6th Lecture in the Firth Series

`THE IMPACT OF TV´

By Professor Dan Cruickshank
Architectural historian and TV presenter

On Wednesday, 10 December 2008
At 6.00pm in Firth Hall, Firth Court, Western Bank

Adventures in Architecture: the ups and downs of making television programmes about architecture, design and life in cities. The story will be told through a series of `case-studies´ that will focus on the issues and problems raised, the editorial and filming decisions that are made, the opportunities presented, the disappointments faced and the public´s response. Special reference will be made to a series called Marvels of the Modern Age that sought to interest and engage viewers in the complex history of 20th century Modernist architecture through reference to work by - amongst other -Behrens, Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright and Melnikov. The locations discussed will include Brasilia; Astana, Kazakhstan; Dharavi, Mumbai, India; Thimpu, Bhutan; Bucharest, Romania; Rockefeller Center, New York; Le Corbusier in Marseilles and Ronchamp; Moscow; Herat and Jam, Afghanistan; Damascus, Syria, and Park Hill, Sheffield.

The 5th Lecture in the Firth Series

'THE FUTURE OF THE BRAIN, THE BRAIN OF THE FUTURE'

by Baroness Susan Greenfield
Neuroscientist, Broadcaster and Author

on Wednesday 12 November 2008
at 6pm in Firth Hall, Firth Court, Western Bank

At the beginning of the 21st Century, we may be standing on the brink of a mind-makeover more cataclysmic than anything in our history. The science and technology that is already becoming central to our lives, will soon come to transform not just the way we spend each day, but the way we think and feel. Gradually we are learning more about the dynamism and sensitivity of the circuits of cells in our brain, and how they reflect our moment-to-moment existence and experience: It is in the personalised configuration of these brain cell connections and their two-way interaction with the environment, that the essence of our individuality actually lies.

At all levels, molecular through to macro-environmental, new technologies are starting to impact. At the molecular level, with genetics at the cellular level with drugs, at the cell/body level with nano-technology and scanning, at the body- environment level with information technology virtual and augmented reality and most immediately with an all-pervasive screen environment. The most immediate consequence could be that future generations have different abilities, agendas and styles of thought, - indeed very different types of minds.


AN AUDIENCE WITH LEE CHILD

Best-selling crime fiction author, Lee Child, visited the University of Sheffield on Wednesday 19 November to host `An Audience with Lee Child´ in Firth Hall.

To view a recording on the event, please see: www.shef.ac.uk/eventsteam/leechildrecording.html

The 6th Roberts Lecture

'Designs on Life: Being Human in the 21st Century'

by Dr Maureen McTeer
a well-known Canadian author and lawyer

Wednesday, 22 October 2008 at 6.00 pm
Firth Hall, Firth Court, Western Bank, Sheffield

We have entered a new and challenging era of human existence. We can create, manipulate and alter human life in the laboratory; develop synthetic life, artificial intelligence, and designer babies. Evolutions that took centuries will now occur in a short span of years, perhaps months.

It is an exciting time, and a threatening time. It is the best and the worst of times to be human in the world. We are called to shape our own destiny and to ensure the survival and flourishing of the human race. How will we manage that as individuals? As a community, can our public policies shape a better future for us all in this time of scientific and technological revolution? How will we accomplish this? What are some of the core values that must be respected - even resurrected – as we move beyond the relative simplicity of our current ways of thinking and being human, and confront the complicated contexts of the future? How will we ensure that the humanity, empathy, love, respect and care that mark us at our best are preserved and enhanced in this new era? This lecture explores some of these questions and the changes each of us will need to make in order to survive and prosper as humans in the 21st century.


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The Stephenson Lecture

"Justice and the Promised People of Israel"

given by Professor Stanley Hauerwas, Duke University, North Carolina
a prominent American theologian, ethicist, and Professor of Law.

held on Thursday 29 May 2008 at 6pm
in the Pool Auditorium of the Richard Roberts Building, Brook Hill

This lecture explored why abstract accounts of justice do not do justice to the God of Israel.


Royal Academy of Engineering 8th Regional Public Lecture

"Making urban transport more sustainable"

was given by Professor Anthony May FREng of the Institute of Transport Studies at the University of Leeds.

held in Firth Hall, Firth Court, University of Sheffield, Western Bank
on Wednesday 12 March 2008 at 6.00 pm

Professor May talked about his Institute's research on improved decision support for urban transport strategies.


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The 4th of The Firth Lectures:

`Culture, creativity and research´


was given by Dame Lynne J Brindley
Chief Executive of the British Library and
Honorary Graduate of the University

in The Pool Auditorium, Richard Roberts Building, Brook Hill
on Wednesday 6 February 2008 at 6pm

This lecture seeks to explore the interactions between public investment in the UK cultural sector – our great libraries, museums, galleries and so on – and the UK´s growing and vibrant creative industries. It will argue, using examples drawn from the British Library and elsewhere, that our public institutions, the public infrastructure if you like, promotes creativity and innovation, which in turn inspires new research and new creative outputs. It will also consider the relationship between such creativity and commercial exploitation and success, whether this requires additional public interventions, and speculate what these might be. In this context the relationship between knowledge transfer and the creative economy is critical, if less well understood. Overlay all this with the global nature of the challenge and the increasingly digital nature of the creative and content asset base, there emerge challenges for government, policy makers and institutional leaders. The Government´s Green Paper on the creative economy is a recent contribution to the debate and the lecture aims to make a further contribution to the discussion.


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The third of The Firth Lectures:

`Strategy, the use of military force and the employment of air power.´


was given by Air Marshal Stuart Peach, CBE

on Thursday 13 December 2007 at 6pm
in Firth Hall, Firth Court, Western Bank

The word strategy is in constant use. In the military context, strategy has a particular meaning. In Britain, military teaching talks of the ends, ways and means of achieving a strategic outcome. But, military force is one element of national power. Nor are we likely to act alone. So military strategy should be viewed in a multinational context. The utility of military force is a topical question. Harnessing the levers of power, the balance between hard and soft power are enduring questions. Complexity and the proliferation of non-state or sub-state groups are the hallmarks of current operations. Within this policy construct, the employment of air power is more commented on than understood. The enduring importance of air power as an element of military force within a national, multinational or coalition strategy will be examined in the context of lessons identified in order to guide future strategy, potential operations across the spectrum of conflict with an eye to national security.

The 17th Turner Memorial Lecture

`The Development of Glass-Melting Furnaces and South Yorkshire's Pioneering Role´


was given by
Emeritus Professor Michael Cable

on Thursday, 10th May 2007 ant 6.15pm
in the St George´s Church Lecture Theatre, Mappin Street

The invention of the blow pipe 2000 years ago vastly expanded the types of glass ware that could be made. As size of objects and scale of production increased the industry developed its own types of furnaces. By mediæval times two kinds of furnace had evolved, one circular and the other rectangular. These furnaces evolved slowly but became adapted to the special needs of glass making. The only major advance up to the middle of the nineteenth century was use of coal as fuel instead of wood.

The crucial advances were the introduction gas firing and of regenerative and recuperative heat recovery systems, then the development of the tank furnace, all largely due to the brothers Charles and Friedrich Siemens. The latter built the world´s first commercially successful regenerative furnace to melt glass in Rotherham in 1860 and then went on to operate the first tank furnace in Dresden in 1867. However, the principles of regeneration and recuperation had been invented and patented by the Rev. Robert Stirling in 1816.

From that time onwards the builders of glass melting furnaces devoted their energies to improving the thermal efficiency and productivity of tank furnaces. Developments in refractory materials from about 1930 enabled great improvements to be made and today´s well operated tank furnaces last for many years. Although they consume large amounts of energy they do so efficiently and can meet the stringent emission controls of places like California and Germany. However, the future undoubtedly holds challenges as great as any overcome in the past.

`Whose risk? Whose choice? Whose health?´

Following the footsteps of Mark Firth, one of the founders of the university, we are committed to delivering a series of prestigious lectures to Sheffield presented by some of the leading academics in their field. Sir Cripsin Tickell joined us on 13 February to talk about 'Climate Change: The Hazards' and we are now pleased to announce the second of The Firth Lectures which will be given by Professor Sir John Krebs.

The University of Sheffield is delighted to host a prestigious lecture given by Professor Sir John Krebs, Principal of Jesus College, Oxford

`Whose risk? Whose choice? Whose health?´

in Firth Hall, Firth Court, Western Bank
on Wednesday 28 March 2007 at 6pm

We all make choices about risks that affect our health, whether it's the food we eat, the amount of exercise we take, or choosing whether to smoke or drink. To what extent, and when, should these kinds of risks be managed on our behalf by others, or should it always be up to us as individuals? How well informed are our choices and do we really have options? Or are the so-called choices really constructed for us by others? If it is up to us to choose, should we also be prepared to take responsibility for the consequences? How does the notion of individual choice and autonomy square with notions of reducing inequalities? I will explore these and related questions, drawing on examples from diet and health, and other aspects of public health policy.


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The Stephenson Lectures
`Faith, Scriptures and Universities in an Inter-Faith and Secular Society´

A series of two lectures held on Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 February 2007

given by
Professor David Ford
the Regius Professor of Divinity, University of Cambridge

'A Fresh Intensity: Inter-Faith Engagement with Scriptures'
Monday 19 February 2007 at 1.15pm
The Pool Auditorium, Richard Roberts Building, Brook Hill


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'A New Collegiality: The Inter-Faith and Secular University'
Tuesday 20 February 2007 at 1.15pm
Lecture Theatre 4, Arts Tower


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David F. Ford studied Classics at Trinity College Dublin, and later Theology in Cambridge, Yale, and Tübingen. He is currently Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of numerous books, including /Christian Wisdom. Desiring God and Learning in Love/ (Cambridge, 2007), /The Shape of Living/ (London, 2002), /Theology: A Very Short Introduction/ (Oxford, 2000) and /Self and Salvation: Being Transformed/ (Cambridge, 1999), and is a member of the editorial board of a number of major journals. He is the Director of the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme, and an Academic Member of the Council of 100 Leaders for West-Islamic World Dialogue in the World Economic Forum.

`Climate Change: The Hazards´

The University of Sheffield was delighted to host a prestigious lecture given by Sir Crispin Tickell, Director of the Policy Foresight Programme at the James Martin Institute for Science and Civilisation at Oxford University.

Tuesday 13 February 2007 at 6.00pm
in The Pool Auditorium, Richard Roberts Building, Brook Hill

Climate change has been described by the Government's Chief Scientific Advisor as the biggest threat we face, bigger even than terrorism. We have to reckon not only with the direct hazards - changes in patterns of rainfall, storm and drought, and more extreme events of all kinds – but also with the indirect effects of global warming - sea level rise, resource depletion and changes in the diversity of the other living organisms on whom we wholly depend. In the past humans were able to move as climate changed. Now with our proliferating numbers it has become more and more difficult. The prospect of environmental, in particular climatic refugees is an alarming problem facing society as a whole.


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The 54th Hatfield Memorial Lecture
'Quantifying the Quality of Steel'

given by
Professor John Knott
The University of Birmingham
Department of Metallurgy and Materials

Tuesday 5 December 2006 at 6.45pm
in Convocation Hall, The Octagon Centre

Several previous Hatfield lectures have treated aspects of steel quality, focusing on topics such as microstructures, inclusions, impurity elements, tensile properties and mechanisms of fracture. Other lectures have described the use of steel in engineering applications. I take quality to be demonstrated by a steel´s resistance to failure, in one of a number of modes, when challenged by the threats to integrity encountered in its service application. In this year´s lecture, I discuss developments over the last fifty years that have enabled the overall quality of steel to be assessed in a quantitative manner. The developments include electron-optical imaging and micro-analytical techniques; finite- element stress analysis; and analytical assessments based on the concepts of Fracture Mechanics. These concepts lead to a heightened perception of the critical interactions between levels of service loading, material properties and inherent defect size. Importantly, these interactions can be quantified. Fracture Mechanics not only underpins macroscopic engineering structural integrity assessments, but also feeds back to the degree of control needed in material processing and fabrication; to that needed to generate a desired microstructure, with uniformity and reproducibility; and to that needed to specify and control steel chemistry, inclusion content and level of trace impurity elements. Once these issues have been quantified and the steel´s overall quality has been established, it is possible to develop a rigorous approach to address issues of `fitness for purpose´ and associated cost-factors: both `start-of-life´ costs and `through-life´ costs. The general theme will be illustrated by examples drawn from University research and from applications in power-generation and transport industries.

THE ROYAL ECONOMIC SOCIETY, ANNUAL PUBLIC LECTURE 2006
Hosted by the University of Sheffield
'War and Peace in Africa'

given by
Professor Paul Collier
University of Oxford

Monday 27 November at 6.00 pm
in the Octagon Centre, Western Bank

An opportunity to hear Professor Paul Collier, Oxford University, speak to a wide audience about an issue relevant to all of us. This lecture will be of interest to specialists and non-specialists alike.

While other developing regions have growth, Africa has become synonymous with poverty and conflict. Continuing divergence would generate unmanageable problems. Tribalism, legacies of colonialism, disease, and IMF policies have all been peddled as explanations. Modern economics can take us beyond the political posturing that has dominated discussion. It offers a distinctive diagnosis of Africa 's problems, and a practical agenda for what can be done.

Professor Paul Collier is Professor of Economics at Oxford University and Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies. For five years he was Director of the research department of the World Bank, brought in by Joe Stiglitz, and he was senior advisor to the Commission for Africa. His new book, War and Peace, is about to be published.


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The Faculty of Law and The Sheffield District Incorporated Law Society
The Edward Bramley Sheffield Law Lecture

'The Proper Relationship between Government and Judiciary'

given by
The Rt Hon Lord Justice Maurice Kay
a Lord Justice of Appeal

Wednesday 15 November 2006 at 6.00 pm
in Firth Hall, Firth Court, Western Bank

Lord Justice Kay will be exploring the relationship between the Government, Parliament and the Judiciary in the contact of recent developments surrounding the anti-terrorism legislation and criminal sentencing.


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The 5th Roberts Lecture
'Personal Data and Public Health'

given by
Dr Mark J Walport
Director, The Wellcome Trust

Thursday, 19 October 2006 at 6.00 pm
in Firth Hall, Firth Court, Western Bank

Lecture Synopsis

Humans are genetically 99.9% identical one to another. Analysis of that 0.1% of genetic variation holds the key to understanding the role of genes in determining inherited differences in health and disease. However, genetic variation is only part of the picture. The risk of getting a particular disease usually involves a combination of environment, lifestyle and genes. It is now possible for large data sets of information gathered from individuals, populations and the environment to be merged. This presents some fascinating opportunities for research, including the possibility of undertaking public health research on an enormous scale. This research could be invaluable for improving health and for public policy development. Understandably, there are concerns about the protection of personal information and privacy. However the benefits to society of more effective use of personal information and related data could be tremendous. Getting this balance right will be challenging.


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The 9th Annual PÉREZ GALDÓS LECTURE
GALDÓS AND MYTH

given by
Professor Eamonn Rodgers

Tuesday 2nd May 2006 at 5.30pm
in the Fulwood Room, University House


Lecture Synopsis

To speak of myth in connection with a writer mainly remembered for his detailed portrayal of contemporary social life may seem to require some justification. Galdós´s vision of human reality was, however, broad enough to encompass perennial themes, and in order to express these he drew on several sources of myth with
which he was familiar. In common with his contemporaries, he received a thorough grounding in the classics during his formative years. Though he parted company with his family´s Catholicism, he retained an interest in the Bible, and used Biblical archetypes which he assumed his readers would recognise. Furthermore, literary classics, especially Don Quijote, were quarried for new mythic paradigms. These elements were frequently combined to form a rich texture of allusion which enabled the world of his novels to be simultaneously highly specific and universal in scope.

The Stephenson Lecture
'Crime and Punishment'

given by
The Rt Revd Dr Peter Selby
Lord Bishop of Worcester and Bishop to HM Prisons.

Wednesday 22nd February 2006

Bishop Peter Selby has been the Anglican Bishop of Worcester since 1997 and Bishop to HM Prisons since 2001. As a member of the House of Commons, he has made a number of contributions to debates on prisons and the penal system. Before his current appointment, he was the William Leech Professorial Fellow in Theology at the University of Durham. He is a former President of the Society for the Study of Theology.

Lecture Synopsis

The religious impulse can support a strong emphasis on punishment; yet it has also been behind much reforming energy to bring the modern penal system into existence. Peter Selby is both a Christian writer on themes to do with the economy and currently Bishop to HM Prisons; he will bring together these two areas of concern in an examination of punishment, restoration and forgiveness.

The 9th Centenary Lecture
The 53rd Hatfield Memorial Lecture
'Big Science and Materials - Opportunities, Breakthroughs and the Future'

given by
Professor John Wood, FREng
Chief Executive, Council for the Central Laboratories of the Research Councils.

Thursday 6th December 2005 at 6.45pm
Convocation Hall, The Octagon Centre, Western Bank

Lecture Synopsis

The UK government spends a significant proportion of its basic science funds on large scale facilities and international projects. While many of these facilities and programmes have been driven by fundamental science in the past, increasingly they are opening up new insights into and creating new demands on engineering and biological materials. An overview will be presented of the facilities and programmes that are led or supported by CCLCRC on behalf of the UK community, their current impact on materials' developments followed by some of the materials demands of future projects such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and gravity wave experiments in space. Finally there will be a glimpse into the future of what new neutron and photon sources are being developed and how they will open up new areas of materials research such as real time molecular imaging of biological interactions of materials.

The 8th Centenary Lecture
The 17th Sir Arthur Hall Memorial Lecture
'The Great Ideas of Biology'

given by
Sir Paul Nurse
Nobel Laureate and President of The Rockefeller University, New York

Thursday 3rd November 2005
The Auditorium, Students Union Building.

Lecture Synopsis

Three of the ideas of biology are the gene theory, the theory of evolution by natural selection, and the proposal that the cell is the fundamental unit of all life. When considering the question of what is life these ideas come together, because the special way cells reproduce provides the conditions by which natural selection takes place allowing living organisms to evolve. A fourth idea is that the organisation of chemistry within the cell provides explanations for life's phenomena. A new idea is the nature of biological self organisation on which living cells and organisms process information and acquire specific forms.


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The 7th Centenary Lecture
The Fourth Roberts Lecture
'Mapping in the Information Age'

given by
Dr Vanessa Lawrence
Director General and Chief Executive, Ordnance Survey.

Wednesday 19 October 2005 at 6.00pm
Firth Hall, Firth Court, Western Bank

Lecture Synopsis

Information in electronic form has existed for barely sixty years. Today, our economy, society and government all depend upon huge and ever-growing volumes of data. A key challenge is to filter, combine and integrate sources and types of data in order to enable good decision-making. Mapping has a crucial role in helping to join up information. A high proportion of data records have some reference to a place or geographic entity, such as a building or address. By creating a linkage to a common geographic framework, many otherwise disconnected types of information can be combined. Ordnance Survey is playing a leading role in developing an underpinning geographic framework for Great Britain. In her lecture, Vanessa Lawrence will demonstrate how the organisation has evolved over more than two centuries from military origins to the present day. It is investing heavily in new technology and partnerships in order to meet the increasing need of customers.

The Roberts Lecture was established by Professor Sir Gareth Roberts, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield from 1991 to 2000 and now President of Wolfson College, Oxford.

The 6th Centenary Lecture
The 16th Turner Memorial lecture
'Cut and Engraved Glass in the Islamic World Between the Eighth and the 11th Centuries'

given by
Dr David Whitehouse
Executive Director and Curator of Ancient and Islamic Glass, Corning Museum of Glass, New York.

Thursday 8 September 2005 at 6.15pm
Firth Hall, Firth Court, Western Bank

Lecture Synopsis

Glassmaking flourished in many parts of the Islamic world in the Middle Ages. In the central Islamic lands (a region extending from Egypt to Iran) glass workers produced large quantities of cut and engraved glass in a variety of different styles. While much of what they made was of indifferent quality, the best of their products stand comparison with the finest cut glass of any period or place. The lecture surveys and illustrates the full range of cut and engraved glass made in the central Islamic lands between the eighth and the 11th centuries, and tackles the question of where and when the various styles were produced.

The 8th Annual Pérez Galdós Lecture

given by
Professor Francisco Caudet
Universidad Autonoma, Madrid

Wednesday 11 May 2005 at 5.30pm
The Fulwood Room, University House

Lecture Synopsis

The main purpose of this Annual Pérez Galdós Lecture was to vindicate the significance that Cervantes had on Pérez Galdós' gigantic effort to incorporate the 19th c. Spanish prose and, to a certain extent, the Spanish society of his times, into the Modern world. For those literary and national objectives, Pérez Galdós counted on Cervantes' craftsmanship consisting in his special blend of realism and its counterpart, idealism. In so doing, Pérez Galdós followed the paths of great European novelists as Balzac, Dickens, Flaubert, or Stendhal, who had also Cervantes as a master of their realist mode.