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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

June 13

Why learners, politicians, practitioners and users are not the enemy and how to listen to them!


Computerised systems and process designs should effectively reflect peoples’ needs, according to Professor Anne Adams, Professor of Engaged Practice and Research at the OU’s Institute of Educational Technology, who will deliver her inaugural lecture on the subject.

July 13

Data (Science) is everywhere and for everyone – but only if we are professional


In her inaugural lecture, Rachel Hilliam, Professor of Statistics in the OU’s Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, will explore the role played by Data Science in ensuring that data is being used ethically, stored safely and analysed robustly.

Previous lectures

Byron Dueck and Elaine Moohan, smiling and looking at the camera

Music, politics and the importance of understanding the text

Music, politics and the importance of understanding the text is a joint inaugural lecture delivered by Elaine Moohan, Professor of Musicology and Byron Dueck, Professor of Music in The Open University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, who presented their research into religious music from Scotland, England and Cameroon on Tuesday 16 May 2023.

15th May 2023
Theo Zamenopoulos, smiling and looking at the camera

The making of design creatives: a capability approach to addressing societal challenges

Theo Zamenopoulos, Professor of Citizen-led design, Engineering & Innovation, Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, delivered his inaugural lecture on the work and capabilities of design creatives and their contribution to addressing societal challenges.

19th April 2023
Lady wearing glasses and a blue top, standing in front of trees

Aspects of empowerment in legislation and education

The Open University hosted Professor Stephanie Pywell’s inaugural lecture on 6 December 2022.

7th December 2022
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

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News & articles

Hybrid meeting, with a group of people in a room and screen showing people attending by video

OU Sustainability Research Festival 2023 highlights the need for collaboration

Participants in The Open University's first Sustainability Research Festival highlighted willingness to collaborate as a key requirement to tackle environmental challenges both locally and globally.

2nd June 2023
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