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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 14

Capturing feeling and experience in research about creativity

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

July 12

Rethinking the boundaries of astrobiology

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In her inaugural lecture, Professor Karen Olsson-Francis will explore her work relating to the survivability of microorganisms and how her interdisciplinary approach has led her to rethink the boundaries of astrobiology.

Previous lectures

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
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

News & articles

REF 2021 logo

REF 2021 recognises 82% of OU research impact as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’

The Open University (OU)’s commitment to research and societal impact is recognised today (Thursday 12 May), with 82% of its research impact assessed to be ‘world-leading’ (4*) or ‘internationally excellent’ (3*) by the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.

12th May 2022
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