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.

2020

For Ruskin the study of buildings was inseparable from the study of nature.  He held that all true ‘forms and thoughts’ in architecture were ‘directly taken from natural objects’ (Works 8.141).

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Imagine a world where everything is connected to everything else through the Internet. Your home senses, understands and adapts to your every need; shopping is fully automated with goods being delivered by drones...

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*Lecure cancelled due to unexpected circumstances*

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Formula for Thrill

Professor Brendan Walker

Many people are passionate about theme parks, roller coasters, and thrill rides of all sorts. But did you know there's both an art and a science to creating these thrilling adventures in real life?

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2019

The Lit & Phil’s autumn term will round off with a festive musical event at the Royal Northern College of Music, with the ‘Café Band’ playing a selection of music for us. 

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Environment Time-Capsules (Eco-TCs) were buried in 1994 in the Botanic Gardens at Kew, Ness, and in South Africa, the Seychelles, Mount Annan near Sydney and in Mexico.  These were designed as a Warning, an Apology and a Promise.

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Hardly a week goes past without a media focus on the mental ill-health of young people with concerns over a “crisis” or even an “epidemic”. In particular the stories ask: is this a more suicidal generation?

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John Harris, in conversation with Brian Tyler, will describe his experiences and involvement with the nuclear industry over the last 60 years.

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Anthony Ogus will provide an account of George Bernard Shaw's life in the late 1880s and early 1890s, before he concentrated on his career as a dramatist. He was then a prominent and popular music critic, writing weekly and often outrageous articles under the pseudonym Cornetto di Basso.

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Work-related positive and negative influences on psychological well-being are much less apparent than factors that affect physical health and even for well-intentioned managers it may be hard to grasp the key drivers of well-being at work.

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Now You're Talking

Professor Trevor Cox

Join Trevor, as he explores the most exquisite acoustic source: the human voice. Your voice is integral to your personal identity. We judge others not just by their words, but also by the way they talk: their intonation, their pitch, their accent.

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Place-names are a key source of information about past landscapes, their settlement and their exploitation.Whether you come from ‘the lowlying ground with wild garlic’ or ‘the open land inhabited by ducks’, this lecture will explain much about words which are so familiar that we rarely think about.

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George Eliot -- who's he?

Dr Creina Mansfield

Why did one of the greatest novelists of all time use a male pseudonym? Starting with this question, Dr Creina Mansfield will explore the life and works of George Eliot, who wrote at a time of great political change.

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Coral reefs and the future of the world

Professor Callum Roberts

The expression ‘canary in the coalmine’ is overused but is apt for what reefs say about the dangers of our headlong planetary experiment. This talk tells the story of coral reefs, how they became one of the wonders of the ocean world, how we learned to love them and how they now struggle to survive.

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‘Punishment is not for revenge, but to lessen crime and reform the criminal’  –  Elizabeth Fry

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As an introduction to the lecture later in the evening “Crime and Punishment - Why do we punish offenders?”, the Manchester Lit & Phil has organised a private tour of The Greater Manchester Police Museum and Archives.

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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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