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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

Jan 28

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

15:00 - 16:00

What the concept of lifelong learning initiated by the OU in 1969 means now for the future of universities.

Feb 19

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

18:00 - 19:00

What does ‘open’ mean? If we were to invent an ‘Open University’ now, what would it look like?

Mar 5

Menopause and the workplace

15:30 - 16:30

It is very apt for Professor Jo Brewis to deliver her inaugural lecture in the week of International Women’s Day on a topic which is often regarded as taboo in wider society and in the workplace in particular. 

Mar 12

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

18:00 - 19:00

Science has the power to influence our lives. This lecture with Professor Richard Holliman questions and explores how Science should be governed, represented and funded.

May 21

Youth crime and justice: Does age matter?

18:00 - 19:00

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

Jun 25

If school is the problem, what is the solution?

18:00 - 19:00

Discussing fundamental problems in the current education system, Professor Peter Twining explores elements of a system that is more fit for purpose.

Jul 30

Sniffing out disease - why we need a dog in a box

18:00 - 19:00

Discover the latest research in ‘sniffing out’ volatile compounds produced by ‘the disease state’.

Previous lectures

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
Richard Holti

Professor Richard Holti’s inaugural lecture on new business models

In his inaugural lecture on 26 June, Professor Richard Holti presented cases from the construction and sexual health industries on new models for organising which draw on in-house expertise and creativity.

26th June 2018
Edoardo Ongaro

Context in public management, the missing link

At a time when Brexit negotiations reveal the potential confusion of assuming a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach across Europe, an OU academic described the perils of this approach worldwide.

6th February 2018
Bart Rienties

The power of learning analytics to give students (and teachers) what they want!

The power of learning analytics to predict the best learning approach for students, was outlined by Bart Rienties in his inaugural lecture on Tuesday 30 January 2018.

30th January 2018
Jonathan Rix

Why School is bad for us – lessons we need to learn

Millions of children could fail at school due to an obsession with individual assessment, literacy skills and the right kind of behaviour, according to an OU academic.

16th November 2017
Cathy Lloyd

Diabetes and Depression: A Tale of Three Cities

Professor Cathy Lloyd delivered her inaugural lecture in July 2017 on Diabetes and Depression: A Tale of Three Cities, in which she highlighted the link between diabetes and psychosocial problems such as depression.

1st July 2017
Shailey Minocha

Virtual worlds for real experiences

Professor Shailey Minocha’s inaugural lecture on Virtual worlds for real experiences took place on Tuesday 20 June 2017.

20th June 2017
Richard Brown

Shall I Compare Thee? Poetry, Education, Seduction

The demands that literature makes on readers, was addressed by Professor Richard Danson Brown in his inaugural lecture on Shall I Compare Thee? Poetry, Education, Seduction, on Tuesday 6 June 2017.

6th June 2017
Simon Lee

Open and Shut Cases

The need for judges, lawyers, law students and the general public alike, to keep an open mind in legal affairs, was highlighted by OU Professor Simon Lee in his Open University inaugural lecture on Thursday 4 May 2017.

4th May 2017

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