Inspiring teachers host 24-hour lecture marathon in celebration of two remarkable scientists

  • Lecture marathon includes: How Brexit will affect your breakfast? and Sheffield: City of beer, art and music
  • All proceeds will be shared between Teenage Cancer Trust and Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity
  • Event is open to the public from 5pm on Thursday 30 March 2017

World-leading teachers and researchers from the University of Sheffield will be tackling some of the biggest questions about life and the universe as part of an extraordinary 24-hour charity lecture marathon.

Tim Richardson

The annual fundraising event hosted by Inspiration for Life - a charity which aims to promote lifelong learning and encourage the public understanding of science - will also celebrate the lives of two remarkable lecturers, Dr Tim Richardson and Dr Victoria Henshaw, who both worked for the University.

The 24 Hour Inspire event is open to the public and all proceeds will be shared between Teenage Cancer Trust and Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity.

The programme will see a fantastic line-up of 45 back-to-back talks from the University’s physicists, lawyers, linguists, historians, engineers, medics and many more over 24 hours starting from 5pm on Thursday 30 March until 5pm on Friday 31 March 2017.

The charity Inspiration for Life was launched in 2012 by Dr Richardson to encourage the public understanding of science, support students and raise money for local charities such as Weston Park Hospital, Rotherham Hospice, Impact Young Heroes and Teenage Cancer Trust.

Dr Richardson, who died aged 48 in 2013, was an outstanding scientist and an inspirational teacher who taught for over 20 years with great warmth, generosity and humour. In 2011, he single-handedly held the first 24 hour lecture marathon to raise money for Children In Need.

Catherine Annabel, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Inspiration for Life, said: “I've been the Chair of Inspiration for Life since we set up the charity with Tim in 2012, and each time we hold the 24 Hour Inspire event it amazes and delights me.

“It’s fantastic - the enthusiasm, energy and commitment of so many staff and students working together to make it a success, the fun of the occasion - especially during the night shift, with everyone in PJs - and of course knowing that every penny we raise is going to support one of our fantastic cancer charities. It's the highlight of my year!”

The event is also dedicated to Dr Victoria Henshaw, of the University’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, who passed away in 2014 at the age of 43. Dr Henshaw made a major impact with her research and contributions to knowledge, practice and policy locally, nationally and internationally.

Some highlights of this year’s marathon will include the University’s Vice-President for Education, Professor Wyn Morgan, discussing the affect Brexit will have on your breakfast and Professor Marie Kinsey from the Department of Journalism Studies exploring the concept of fake news.

Professor Wyn Morgan said: “This year’s fascinating talks range from discussions on robots to brain fizzing and unweaving the rainbow and climate change.

“I’ll be looking at the seismic shock that the Brexit vote had on the UK and how it might have put some people off their breakfast while encouraging others to tuck heartily into a full English.

“Either way, the decision to leave the EU could have significant consequences in all areas of the economy, not least of which is in food production and consumption.”

Professor Tony Ryan OBE will also be giving a compelling insight into the Zaatari refugee camp which he visited last year, whilst Professor Allan Pacey MBE will be giving hints and tips for good fertility.

Professor Vanessa Toulmin, Director of City and Cultural Engagement, will kick start the marathon with a lecture entitled Sheffield: City of beer, art and music which will explore what the city has to offer.

As well as the fascinating lectures, visitors will be able to enjoy a variety of refreshments, a homemade cake sale and live music.

Visitors will also see the charity’s own pop up radio station, Radio Inspire, with music, quizzes and interviews running alongside the event.

Each lecture lasts 30 minutes and minimum donations for entry are £2 for a single lecture or £7 for a wristband for unlimited access to all lectures.

Talks on Inspiration for Life blog    Make a donation: MyDonate page

Additional Information

Inspiration for Life

Inspiration for Life organise a range of activities aiming to promote lifelong learning, and encourage the public understanding of science – through publications, lectures and other events. They work within and beyond the University, linking up with schools and other organisations who share these goals.

Working with the Snowdon Trust, they help to overcome the barriers which face students with disabilities by providing grants to support their studies.

The University of Sheffield

With almost 27,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2017 and was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education in 2014. In the last decade it has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.


For further information please contact:

Maddy Wainwright
Media & PR Apprentice
University of Sheffield
0114 222 1047