Hammering Two New Nails in Malthus's Coffin with Genetic Engineering

Professor Jonathan Gressel

The world's seven-and-a-half billion people are dependent on just four crop species (wheat, rice, maize, and soybeans) for 80% of their calorific intake: we could be one global plant disease outbreak from a global famine. With these crop species, classical plant breeding, of the type that over the past century and a half has made potatoes less vulnerable to Phytophthera infestans, is unlikely to produce results, as genetic diversity has already been bred out of these species over the millennia of their cultivation. We need ways of inserting new genes for desirable characteristics.


8th September 2016, 7pm

Programme 2016-17 Preview


We are pleased to announce our new 2016-17 Programme, full details of which will be released at the end of the month with Members receiving the printed booklets in early September.

Here is the information for the first Session. Booking for these lectures will open on 1st September 2016.

Summertime at the Lit & Phil


The 2015-16 Season may now be over but the Lit & Phil will continue to bring you news from summer events in the city and sneak previews of our exciting Programme for 2016-17. Click here for more information.

A unique glimpse into the Lit & Phil's recent history...


This article written by the Lit & Phil's longest serving Member gives a fascinating first-hand account of the Lit & Phil and its standing in Manchester's cultural and educational scene from the 1950s to the present.

John Dalton Tour of Manchester


Combine the lovely summer weather with a historical science walk around Manchester with this handy audio guide!

Benjamin Franklin and the Manchester Lit & Phil


Did you know that one of the founding fathers of the United States of America was once an Honorary Member of the Manchester Lit & Phil?
Find out more about Dr Franklin's legacy at the Manchester Lit & Phil here.