20th June 2018, 11:45am
The past year contained an eclectic series of lectures beginning in October with Dr David Bellingham who spoke on Legal and Ethical Title: selling off art from English country house collections. He used Chatsworth House in Derbyshire and Syon House in Middlesex as case studies to excellent effect. This was followed in November by a lecture on Aviation and the Environment, a subject about which members knew very little, but which was brought to life with excellent illustrations by an enthusiastic lecturer, Professor John Fielding.
Syon House Aphrodite at Sotheby's Sale Preview
In December Dr Michael Cannon spoke on overcoming the problems of bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics under the title Antibiotics: the Calm before the Storm. He described the emergence of ‘superbugs’ that could potentially have catastrophic consequences. January saw a visit by Professor Julian Pine on Tuning In and Talking: how parents can influence their children's language development. The lecture began by discussing research which shows that parents who talk about what is in their children's current focus of attention tend to have children who go on to develop large vocabularies. It then described an intervention study which showed how ‘tuning in and talking’ can be used to boost language learning in children from low socio-economic status.
In March, Georgina Ferry spoke under the title Diamonds to DNA: the women who revealed the hidden structures of nature where she looked at the circumstances of three women, Kathleen Lonsdale, Dorothy Hodgkin (a member of the Manchester Lit & Phil) and Rosalind Franklin. She discussed how they were able to succeed in science at a time when few women had professional careers of any kind.
Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin with her children Toby, Elizabeth and Luke in 1946 on the day her Fellowship of the Royal Society was announced. Copyright: Newsquest Oxfordshire
The final lecture of the year was given in April by Professor Stephen Graham who explored the idea that today’s towns and cities can no longer be read as a two-dimensional map but must be understood as a series of vertical strata. In Vertical Cities: from basement to rooftop he explained how to rethink the city at every level – how the geography of inequality, politics and identity is determined in terms of above and below.