Guest Lectures & Debates

Join us for a series of lively talks and interactive discussions with topics ranging from behavioural psychology to astronomy and ludicrous art to the US elections.
Develop a better understanding of issues facing the contemporary world – both nationally and internationally – and engage in informed discussion around our history and contemporary society.
  1. Science guest lecture: Where physics meets biology: an introduction to current research on the application of biophysics to embryology

    Evening
    Course Date: Thu 30 Jan 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    How can the application of physics to biology help us to understand human development? It is an ongoing mystery how the complexity of an adult organism arises from a single fertilised egg cell. This problem has been studied extensively by biologists for centuries, and is now an active area of research for physicists as well. The field of biophysics aims to use the mathematical and computational tools of physics to understand how complex living creatures organise themselves. The key idea is that even something as complicated as a whole organism must still obey the laws of physics.



    Max Kerr Winter is a theoretical biophysicist. He researches at the Francis Crick Institute, London, in collaboration with experimental biologists at the University of Cambridge.
    Full fee: £15.00
    Senior fee: £15.00
    Concession: £15.00

  2. Political myth, propaganda and fake news

    Course Date: Fri 31 Jan 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    What is a political myth? How do we spot propaganda? How can we tell 'real' news from 'fake news'? In this course we will look at a number of conceptual approaches to these subjects, and then pick-apart a number of examples of each.
    Full fee: £139.00
    Senior fee: £111.00
    Concession: £61.00

  3. Psyched! An interactive science evening in collaboration with Birkbeck, University of London, Department of Psychological Sciences: the origin of lust

    Psyched! An interactive science evening in collaboration with Birkbeck, University of London, Department of Psychological Sciences: the origin of lust

    Evening
    Course Date: Thu 13 Feb 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Psyched! - an insider’s look at how the brain works and how evolution affects the way you think, feel and behave.

    What is the evolutionary origin of lust and what is its place in the modern world? Come and prepare for Valentine's Day at Psyched!

    Delivered in partnership with Birkbeck, University of London, Department of Psychological Sciences.
    Full fee: £9.00
    Senior fee: £9.00
    Concession: £9.00

  4. Science guest lecture Professor Ian Crawford - The new science of astrobiology and the search for life in the universe

    Evening
    Course Date: Fri 21 Feb 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    In this talk Professor Crawford will summarise the new interdisciplinary science of astrobiology -- the search for life in the universe. The talk will begin by describing the planetary and evolutionary context of life on Earth and its implications for finding life elsewhere. Building on this perspective, the talk will consider the prospects for finding life, or evidence for past life, elsewhere in our Solar System, for example on the planet Mars and the icy moons of the outer solar system, before moving on to consider the potential habitability of planets recently discovered orbiting other stars.



    Ian Crawford is an astronomer and planetary scientist, and is currently Professor of Planetary Science and Astrobiology at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is also a vice president of the Royal Astronomical Society. Ian's research focusses mainly on lunar geology, including the possibility of finding economically useful resources on the Moon, and on the search for past or present life on Mars.
    Full fee: £15.00
    Senior fee: £15.00
    Concession: £15.00

  5. How to start a revolution: according to Lenin

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 23 Feb 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    'What is to be done?' asked Lenin in 1902, as the Tsarist autocracy crept towards its Tercentenary. Fifteen years later, the Bolsheviks - led by Lenin - took control of Russia's seat of government and proclaimed 'All power to the Soviets!' In this course we will explore Lenin's ideas on Revolution.
    Full fee: £39.00
    Senior fee: £31.00
    Concession: £20.00

  6. Classics day

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 29 Feb 2020
    Location on this date: OS - Off Site
    City Lit, the British Museum and UCL present the annual Classics Day, offering lectures exploring the interpretations and reinterpretations of Troy, through archaeology, literature and art. Why and how has ancient Troy, its legends, heroes and myths, been of such enduring resonance throughout the ages? Anyone with a love of the classics is welcome. No knowledge of Greek or Latin required.
    Full fee: £59.00
    Senior fee: £36.00
    Concession: £18.00

  7. German chancellors from Bismarck to Merkel

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 7 Mar 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Focusing on the personalities and policies of a number of important chancellors, this course introduces students to key aspects and agents of the governance of Germany over the past century and a half.
    Full fee: £59.00
    Senior fee: £47.00
    Concession: £30.00

  8. The end of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of Arab nationalism

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 8 Mar 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    This interactive-lecture day course will trace the growth of Arab nationalism in the decaying Ottoman Empire and the formation of new Arab states in the aftermath of World War I: fascinating background to understanding contemporary events in the Middle East. Tutor: James Chiriyankandath.
    Full fee: £59.00
    Senior fee: £47.00
    Concession: £30.00

  9. Pre-Colonial India: Trade Networks and Spices

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 8 Mar 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    This interactive introductory course focuses on India’s central place in the pre-colonial trade network. Through the history of the spice trade the course will explore the important position of India in global trade.
    Full fee: £39.00
    Senior fee: £31.00
    Concession: £20.00

  10. Psyched! An interactive science evening in collaboration with Birkbeck, University of London, Department of Psychological Sciences: sex differences

    Psyched! An interactive science evening in collaboration with Birkbeck, University of London, Department of Psychological Sciences: sex differences

    Evening
    Course Date: Thu 26 Mar 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Psyched! - an insider’s look at how the brain works and how evolution affects the way you think, feel and behave.

    Let's talk about sex (differences) Slugs and snails and puppy dog's tails – or sugar and spice and everything nice? What are boys and girls made of?

    Delivered in partnership with Birkbeck, University of London, Department of Pyschological Sciences.
    Full fee: £9.00
    Senior fee: £9.00
    Concession: £9.00

  11. The US and Latin America: from the Cuban Revolution to Trump's border wall

    Evening
    Course Date: Wed 29 Apr 2020
    Location on this date: International House
    Uncover a dramatic history of coups, interventions and revolutionary struggles. This course unravels the key themes of US-Latin American relations, brought to life by film clips, photography and primary sources. Tutor: Jack Gain.
    Full fee: £159.00
    Senior fee: £159.00
    Concession: £70.00

  12. Life and times of Anne, Queen of Great Britain

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 7 Jun 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    This day course will provide an interactive lecture with opportunities for discussion on Queen Anne, who was the last of the Stuarts and who had suffered much personal tragedy but she ruled over an increasingly prosperous nation that had unprecedented military success in Europe under the Duke of Marlborough. Tutor: William Sterling.
    Full fee: £59.00
    Senior fee: £47.00
    Concession: £30.00

  13. Realism, melodrama and fantasy: British cinema in the 1940s

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 5 Jul 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    The 1940s saw major developments in British films and filmmaking matched by record numbers of cinema-goers and lively critical debate. Explore this 'golden age' British cinema through a range of films and themes including realism, melodrama and fantasy, and assess their critical reception and impact on British film culture.
    Full fee: £59.00
    Senior fee: £47.00
    Concession: £30.00

  14. Hope and history: exploring contemporary Muslim societies. Photo: Giovanni Dall'Orto

    Hope and history: exploring contemporary Muslim societies

    Course Date: Fri 17 Jul 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Explore Muslim societies in modern times: the reception of modern ideas and institutions, the status of traditional practices, debates around the nation state, democracy, gender, identity, globalisation and extremism. Tutor: Farid Panjwani.
    Full fee: £59.00
    Senior fee: £47.00
    Concession: £26.00

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