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

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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The history of local museums in England is usually regarded as starting with William Ewart’s Museum Acts of 1845 and 1850, which permitted local authorities to subsidise museums from local rates. Before this, however...

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This lecture will focus on how parents can influence their children's language development by tuning into what they are interested in and talking about it. It will begin by discussing research which shows that parents...

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2017

—SOLD OUT—

This lecture will explain what antibiotics are, where they come from and how they act. It will emphasise how bacteria actually become resistant to an antibiotic and how this process can, subsequently, give rise to the emergence of ‘Superbugs’, a world wide problem that could potentially have catastrophic consequences.

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The Mersey Gateway is a critical £600 million investment into the transport infrastructure of the North West. At its centre is the landmark Mersey Gateway bridge, a world class 3 tower cable stay bridge.

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—SOLD OUT—

In this lecture Michael Wood will use images and film to look at one of the most exciting and formative periods in British history when three generations of the family of Alfred the Great created the early English state.

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In this lecture, Professor John Fielding will describe the improved techonolgy and novel aircraft/engine configurations that Cranfield University have been investigating as a means of alleviating pollution from aircrafts, such as air and noise pollution.

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