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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

June 04

The idea of justice in innovation

18:00 - 19:00

How can social justice principles be applied in the governance of technological and developmental change?

Jun 25

If school is the problem, what is the solution?

18:00 - 20:00

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

Jul 16

The polar oceans and global climate

18:00 - 19:00

How to polar seas work, what is their importance, and how can we use polar broadcasts to teach the masses?

Sep 10

Cause-Related Marketing - A marketing strategy for corporate social responsibility performance

15:00 - 16:00

How designing corporate social responsibility strategies can enhance a firm's reputation with its key stakeholders.

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

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
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

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