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Inaugural Lectures

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.

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

Forthcoming lectures

Dec 6

Aspects of empowerment in legislation and education


In her inaugural lecture, Professor Stephanie Pywell will explore some effects of the empowerment of individuals and organisations to make delegated legislation, including the regulations about wearing face coverings in 2020. She will also reflect on the empowering effect of education – especially that offered by The Open University.

Previous lectures

Head shot of a man wearing a blue shirt and jacket, with trees in the background

Challenging assumptions about widening participation in Higher Education

The Open University hosted Professor John Butcher’s inaugural lecture on 13 September 2022.

12th September 2022
Image of lady with long blonde hair, with trees and greenery in the background

Rethinking the boundaries of astrobiology

The Open University hosted Professor Karen Olsson-Francis’ inaugural lecture on 12 July 2022.

13th July 2022
Headshot of Stephanie Taylor with bushes in background

Capturing feeling and experience in research about creativity

The Open University hosted Professor Stephanie Taylor’s inaugural lecture on 14 June 2022.

In her lecture, Professor Stephanie Taylor discussed the associations of creativity, its contradictions and how we can understand the experience of being creative.

15th June 2022
Les Budd

From Urbanite to Astronaut: The Territorial Economics of Space

The Open University hosted Leslie Budd’s inaugural lecture on 10 May 2022.

11th May 2022
Sarah Crafter

Children of migration as brokers of 'care'

The Open University hosted Sarah Crafter’s inaugural lecture on 30 November 2021.

30th November 2021
Stephen Lewis

Dynamic climates: what can other planets tell us about the Earth?

The Open University opened its doors to welcome visitors to Stephen Lewis’ inaugural lecture on 9 November to mark the first 2021-22 lecture.

10th November 2021
David Rothery and Carole Haswell

Discovering new planets

Professor David Rothery and Professor Carole Haswell, delivered a joint inaugural lecture event on the theme of Discovering new planets.

14th November 2019
Paul Lawrence

What’s the point of criminal justice history?

As The Open University celebrates its 50th anniversary, Paul Lawrence, Asa Briggs Professor of History, delivered his inaugural lecture on how a historical approach to criminal justice contributes to contemporary understandings of crime and justice.

15th October 2019
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

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