February highlights at Gresham College’s free public lecture series supported by the City of London:
Gresham’s first Oracy/ Speaking Competition; and new Schools’ officer
Our first Schools’ oracy competition held finals on 24 Jan. Read more: https://www.gresham.ac.uk/about-us/news/gresham-schools-competition-2022-23-final
Anglo-Saxon Pagan Gods by Professor Ronald Hutton
When the Western Roman Empire crumbled, the Anglo-Saxon peoples who occupied Britain brought their own paganism with them. This was Germanic, with a pantheon of deities that included Woden, Thunor, Tiw and Frig. Its temples were wooden structures that leave scant traces in the landscape, but you can find evidence for their beliefs in cemeteries like Sutton Hoo. This lecture looks at such evidence and at literature such as Beowulf and the history written by the Christian scholar Bede. Wednesday 1 February 2023, 6pm-7pm David Game College, Aldgate, or Online/ Watch Later. Ticketed, free.
Do We Need Barristers? by Professor Leslie Thomas KC
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the distinction between solicitors and barristers? What is the purpose of the independent Bar in our legal system today? Is the Bar’s history as a bastion of privilege problematic?
Thursday 2 February 2023, 6pm-7pm Gresham College, Barnard’s Inn Hall, or Online/ Watch Later. Ticketed, free.
Slavery and the British Economy by Professor Martin Daunton
During debates over the abolition of slavery, supporters of the system claimed that it was vital to the British economy and that abolition would be disastrous. The abolitionists argued that slavery was immoral and that the economy would prosper in its absence. Just how important was slavery to British economic success? This question continues to resonate in modern debates over the historic role of slavery’s profits in the building of country estates or the endowments of charities.
Tuesday 7 February 2023, 6pm-7pm Gresham College, Barnard’s Inn Hall, or Online/ Watch Later. Ticketed, free.
Microbial Record-Breakers by Professor Robin May
Microbes hold astonishing speed records: the remarkable Thiovulum majus races along at 60 body lengths per second – the equivalent of Usain Bolt completing the 100m sprint in just over 0.8 seconds. Viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 replicate so rapidly that a single infection can produce 100 bn virus particles within a couple of days. And some bacteria lie dormant for millions of years. This lecture looks at the biology behind these record-breakers, and what they can teach us about creating new materials.
Wednesday 8 February 2023, 6pm-7pm Gresham College, Barnard’s Inn Hall, or Online/ Watch Later. Ticketed, free.
Every Londoner Counts – The Role for Financial Services in Boosting Financial Literacy and Inclusion, Lord Mayor +Sacha Romanovitch +Andy Haldane +Patrick Jenkins
Numeracy skills, good financial education and financial inclusion are essential ingredients for a thriving, fair economy. The cost-of-living crisis exposes how we need to go further and faster to ensure people have the skills they need to manage their money and improve their prospects in life, and can access useful, affordable financial services. The Lord Mayor of London, Nicholas Lyons, will speak about the role the Square Mile can play in supporting numeracy, financial literacy and inclusion.
Monday 13 February 2023, 6pm-7pm The Old Library, Guildhall, or Online/ Watch Later. Ticketed, free followed by Drinks Reception.
What’s the Problem with Encryption? by Professor Victoria Baines
End-to-end encryption secures messages before they leave a device, preventing them from being read in transit. Increasingly the default protocol for messaging apps, neither governments nor the platforms on which it operates can access unscrambled communications and message content. Some governments have demanded ‘back doors’ for criminal investigations, while others have exploited workarounds to access the encrypted messages of political dissidents. This talk considers the current public discourse on online surveillance and privacy, and where society might go from here.
Tuesday 14 February 2023, 6pm-7pm Gresham College, Barnard’s Inn Hall, or Online/ Watch Later. Ticketed, free.
Rhythm Disturbances of the Heart by Professor Chris Whitty
Our bodies depend on our hearts maintaining a steady beat, and increasing it appropriately in response to exercise. If the heart goes too fast, or too slowly, we have effects ranging from tiredness to unexpectedly passing out to death. This lecture will consider the normal heartbeat, the causes of the heart going too fast or slowly and how it is treated when it does.
Tuesday 21 February 2023, 6pm-7pm Gresham College, Barnard’s Inn Hall, or Online/ Watch Later. Ticketed, free.
Christopher Wren’s Cosmos by Professor Katherine Blundell
Sir Christopher Wren was one of the most remarkable Gresham Professors of Astronomy. Though best known today as the architectural mastermind behind the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire, Wren’s appointment to the Gresham chair in 1657 stemmed from his enthusiasm for turning his gaze well above London’s skyline and focussing his attention on the heavens above. This lecture will consider Wren’s contributions to astronomy and how Wren’s appreciation of and contributions to art and design, and science and engineering, were fully integrated in his life and made him a polymath on a par with Leonardo da Vinci.
Wednesday 22 February 2023, 6pm-7pm David Game College Aldgate, or Online/ Watch Later. Ticketed, free
Big Data in Business by Professor Raghavendra Rau
Big data has really taken off over the past decade because of the presence of ubiquitous sensor technology everywhere. For example, we are all constantly monitored by our phones, smart doorbells, heating systems, televisions, watches and jewellery. These devices generate a constant flow of information about us. But this data is pretty much meaningless without context.
This lecture talks about how data needs to be processed to make it useful to business.
Monday 27 February 2023, 6pm-7pm Gresham College, Barnard’s Inn Hall, or Online/ Watch Later. Ticketed, free.