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.

2018

Alderley Edge has a rich, complex history of geology, archaeology, early mining and social history. For many people it remains a special place, and its legend of a sleeping king, a wizard and a hoard of treasure is still very much alive...

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It is 28 years since the IPCC's first report and a quarter of a century since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit – such heady days of international hope and optimism. Now, in 2018 and with the benefit of hindsight, we can look back and trace our voyage of abject failure...

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The NHS at 70

Sir David Dalton

This the NHS turns 70 and has been described as “the closest thing the English have to a religion”. However, the organisation still receives criticsm as it does praise and there are still significant discrepencies in health care outcomes. This lecture will try to answer how we can understand the reality and complexities of one of the largest organisations in the world.

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Lit & Phil AGM 2018 followed by lecture by Immediate Past President, Dr Diana Leitch.

AGM is at 6.30 p.m. and the lecture will start at 7.30 p.m.

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Following two successful events during spring 2018, the Arts Section will again be running a theatre-going group in 2018/19. We can announce that the first visit will be to see Queen Margaret, a new play loosely based around Shakespeare’s Henry VI plays, dramatising the Wars of the Roses and seen through the eyes of Margaret of Anjou.

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Innovation and technological progess are propelling us towards a future that is unlike anything that has happened before, triggering the most fundamental social change since we left the caves. When that happens, about 40 years from now, how will we handle it?

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In our last lecture of the 2017/18 season, Derek McCulloch, translator, professional singer and music historian, investigates what is actually meant by a ‘song’ and its complex relationship with words, and the issues of poetic translation in the crossing of linguistic and cultural borders

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This year's Manchester Lecture will be on the 70th anniversary of the 'Baby' computer, featuring demonstrations of the 'Baby' replica at the Museum of Science & Industry...

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Following the very positive response to the idea of organising a theatre group for Lit & Phil members, and the plan to see The Cherry Orchard in April, our next venture will be to see Samuel Beckett’s modern classic: Happy Days, starring Maxine Peake, again at the Royal Exchange.

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“I was the first in my family to receive a university education and have never lost the desire to teach, research and spread the word about the value of learning.”

Percival Lecture – Members Only – Limited places

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Who are the Humanitarians now?

Professor Tony Redmond

The word humanitarian has evolved over the years into a shorthand description for good works and those who do them - usually in someone else’s country. Both Mother Theresa and Michael Jackson were described as humanitarians...

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Why do we get Fat – and how does it make us ill?

Professor Sir Stephen O'Rahilly FRS

Obesity is a major and growing threat to global public health.  In this talk Stephen O’Rahilly will focus on two broad questions. Firstly, in the face of modern “obesogenic” environment to which most of us are exposed, why do some people become obese while others remain lean...

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Fifty years ago humans saw the whole Earth from the outside for the first time: the crew of Apollo 8, who orbited the Moon at Christmas 1968. The sight of the Earth rising over the lunar surface took them by surprise but the photo they took, now known to the world as ‘Earthrise’...

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Today we live in a world that can no longer be read as a two-dimensional map, but must now be understood as a series of vertical strata that reach from the satellites that encircle our planet to the tunnels deep within the ground.  Stephen Graham rethinks the city at every level...

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Russia's Place in the World

Bridget Kendall

One hundred years ago, Russia shocked the world when it swept away centuries of tsarist autocracy and replaced it with a revolutionary regime which was to usher in over seventy years of one party Communist rule. In 1991 it stunned the world again when Soviet Communism collapsed and a new Russian state was born. Throughout this time and still today, Russia’s relations with its European neighbours have waxed and waned. At times it has been an ally of the West, at times seen as a threat. So how are we to understand  Russia’s place in the world?

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In the 20th century, 3 women pioneered discoveries in X-ray crystallography that are critical to biology research and drug discovery today. How did these women succeed at a time when women were under-represented among scientists and few women had professional careers of any kind?

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The Life and Work of James Clerk Maxwell

Professor Kenneth Letherman DSc

Physicists have for the past 150 years recognised James Clerk Maxwell as a giant figure in physical science, and he holds a unique position among them, although unlike Newton, Einstein and Richard Feynman, his name has not become widely known...

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CANCELLED DUE TO SEVERE WEATHER

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It seems natural to think that the cells in our body are programmed to survive for as long as they are required. Our existence and our health, however, are based on a fine balance between cell growth and cell death. From the very beginning...

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The much-publicised planning activities for the first phase of the ‘High Speed 2’ railway line between London and Birmingham prompt comparison with those of the Victorian era line between the same two cities. The requirements for surveying and selecting a route are much the same today as in the 1830s, except...

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