Past events

Information about the past few years' lectures are listed below.

If you have a query about a lecture given earlier than 2013, please contact the office and they can consult the Society's archives.

2019

Macbeth - Members Only

Theatre Group

We are pleased to announce that the next theatre group visit to the Royal Exchange Theatre will be to see Macbeth, directed by Christopher Haydon.

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In a century known for its record keeping and attention to detail, Edith Piaf’s life can read like a fairy tale or, perhaps, more accurately, a cheap paper-back.  There are so many legends, half-truths and fabrications that it can be difficult to see the real woman behind the image.

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The Beautiful Cure

Professor Dan Davis

Our immune system is one of the great marvels of nature – and it holds the key to human health. In this talk, Professor Daniel Davis charts the ground-breaking scientific quest to understand how the immune system fights disease and enables the body to heal itself. 

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Since the industrial revolution and the world’s first passenger railway services transport has played a critical role in shaping Greater Manchester and the lives of people living in the conurbation.

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The multitude of Annunciations existing today epitomise Gregory the Great's words "Illiterate men can contemplate in the lines of a picture what they cannot learn by means of the written word". 

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Members are invited to attend the Lit & Phil 2019 Annual General Meeting.

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Manchester is proud of Alan Turing but does it deserve to be?

In this talk based on this book Alan Turing’s Manchester, Jonathan Swinton explores the complexity of the city that Alan Turing encountered in 1948 and the remarkable men and women who surrounded him.

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We are pleased to offer our members the chance to explore and learn more about the work that is taking place at RHS Bridgewater.  The RHS plan to create a stunning new 62 hectare (154 acre) garden in the heart of the North West in Salford is now well under way and it will open to the public in 2020.

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This guided tour, visiting the site of St Peter’s Field in Manchester city centre where the Peterloo Massacre took place, has been devised by Ed Glinert who brings his unique touch to this chilling story.

 

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The 2019 Percival Lecture will ask: ‘what does University cultural engagement in 21st century look like?’ and will be jointly delivered by two of the University’s new Cultural Institution Directors.

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It's easy to imagine that plants don’t do much because of our powerful prejudice that equates action with movement. But plants literally build themselves out of thin air and water, which is pretty extraordinary.

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In 1959 CP Snow delivered the Rede Lecture outlining his concerns about the divide between the sciences and the humanities.  His narrative and proposed solutions have parallels with today’s debates about the wider place of science in society.

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Peterloo - Two part event

A Commemoration In Words And Song and Witnesses To A Massacre

Two hundred years on from Manchester's notorious Peterloo Massacre, the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society will commemorate the victims of the Manchester Magistrates and Yeoman Cavalry's overzealous intentions to break up a peaceful gathering at St Peters Field.

 

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We are delighted to offer our members an exclusive tour of the 'Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing' exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery followed by refreshments.  The exhibition marks the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci and there are 12 of the Renaissance master's greatest drawings in the Royal collection on display.

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Off the northernmost tip of Scotland lie the Orkney Islands; it is said that if you scratch its surface Orkney bleeds archaeology. This is nowhere truer than in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site that is renowned for some of the most iconic prehistoric monuments of Atlantic Europe.

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This year, the four Annual Section Meetings (the 4 sections being Arts, Science & Technology, Social Philosophy and Young People) will be held sequentially over a one-hour period, lasting a maximum of 15 minutes each, starting at 5.30 p.m. on 28th March.

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In this lecture Professor Bill Newman will discuss the technological advances in genomic medicine that now allow us to undertake whole genome sequencing for an individual in a time frame and at a cost that make it feasible as a test within standard healthcare.

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Magic Lanterns

Dr Jeremy Brooker

A lecture-entertainment devised by Dr. Jeremy Brooker, renowned magic lantern performer and current Chairman of the Magic Lantern Society. 

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Polio - the Rocky Road to Zero

Professor Sir Liam Donaldson

Many people think that polio is gone from the world. Only those now over 70 years old can remember the devastating paralysis it caused in childhood. The introduction of a vaccine was transformative and swept the disease out of most affluent countries of the world very quickly. Over time, the battle against the disease was won in low- and middle-income countries too.

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Almost every week a paper is published describing a new battery technology that is going to revolutionise the world and provide a step change in battery performance. Yet, this never appears to happen...but why? And can we expect the rate of improvement to change significantly? 

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