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50th Anniversary Inaugural Lectures

The Open University is pleased to announce the annual series of inaugural professorial lectures for 2019-20.

All new professors are given the opportunity to give an inaugural lecture.

The series provides an opportunity to celebrate these achievements with each lecture representing a significant milestone in an academic's career. This year, there is a particular emphasis on the University’s 50th anniversary. 

The normal format is for a lecture of approximately an hour, followed by a celebratory wine reception.

Lectures are open to all University staff and students as well as to members of the public. Please see below for upcoming lectures and for details of how to obtain a ticket. All lectures will be livestreamed and links will be added closer to each event.

Forthcoming lectures

Oct 15

What's the point of criminal justice history?

18:00 - 19:00

How does a historical approach to criminal justice contribute to contemporary understandings of crime and justice?

Nov 14

Discovering new planets

18:00 - 20:00

Discover what Professor David Rothery has found about the history of the planet Mercury and what Professor Carole Haswell has to say about exoplanets and how they serve to put planet Earth in context.

Previous lectures

Gordon Liu

Cause-related marketing

As The Open University celebrates its 50th anniversary, Gordon Liu, Professor of Marketing Strategy, delivered his inaugural lecture on how effective corporate social responsibility strategies enhance a firm’s reputation with its key stakeholders.

9th September 2019
Mark Brandon

The polar oceans and global climate

As The Open University celebrates its 50th anniversary, Mark Brandon, Professor in Polar Oceanography, delivered his inaugural lecture on the polar oceans and global climate and looked ahead to what could happen during the next 50 years.

15th July 2019
Peter Twining giving his lecture

If school is the problem, what is the solution?

As The Open University celebrates its 50th anniversary, Peter Twining, Professor of Education (Futures), delivered his inaugural lecture on what the future holds for schools.

25th June 2019
Theo Papaioannou

The idea of social justice in innovation

As The Open University celebrates its 50th anniversary, Theo Papaioannou, Professor of Politics, Innovation and Development, delivered his inaugural lecture to explore the idea of social justice in innovation.

5th June 2019
Jo Phoenix

Youth crime and justice: Does age matter?

As The Open University celebrates its 50th anniversary, Jo Phoenix, Professor of Criminology, delivered her inaugural lecture on youth crime and justice.

21st May 2019
Rick Holliman

Fairness in knowing': How should we engage with the sciences?

To celebrate The Open University at 50, Richard Holliman, Professor of Engaged Research, explored selected examples from the OU’s curriculum, research and knowledge exchange portfolios in this inaugural lecture.

13th March 2019
Jo Brewis

Menopause and the workplace

During The Open University’s 50th anniversary celebrations, Jo Brewis, Professor of People and Organisations in The Faculty of Business and Law, delivered her inaugural on the effects of menopause in the workplace.

5th March 2019
Martin Weller

Aspects of the Open: The evolution of the meaning of open education

As The Open University celebrated its 50th anniversary and its mission of openness, Martin Weller, Professor of Educational Technology at the OU, examined what the term ‘open’ means and considered what an ‘Open University’ would look like if we were to invent it now.

20th February 2019
Devendra Kodwani

Back from the future, forward from the past: The journey that is lifelong learning

Professor Devendra Kodwani, Executive Dean of The Open University’s Faculty of Business and Law, introduced the OU's 50th anniversary inaugural lecture series with a lecture on lifelong learning and the role of universities, on Tuesday 28 January 2019.

30th January 2019
Derek Matravers

Heritage and War: Protecting Cultural Property and Human Harm

In his inaugural lecture on 17 July, Professor Derek Matravers explored the dilemma of how to protect culture and heritage in war zones, while making human life a priority.

17th July 2018

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