Free Lectures

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Gresham for Schools 2021-2

Gresham College’s free public lectures (running since 1597) are delivered by world-leading professors in the arts and sciences, including such as Professors Chris Whitty (Medicine), Sarah Hart (Maths) Leslie Thomas QC (Law) and Jacqueline McGlade (Environment).

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For teachers and students they are a resource for developing subject knowledge and skills, careers advice, EPQ projects and UCAS statements. We have a searchable back catalogue of 2,500 free digital lectures on our website ordered by school subject at

2022-22 LECTURES:

Our 2022 lectures include:

ASTRONOMY: A series on the History of the Universe called Cosmic Revolutions by Astronomy Professor Katherine Blundell, and The Frontiers of Knowledge by Visiting Professor Roberto Trotta; and Mars Missions 2021: Early Discoveries by Andrew Coates.

BUSINESS / ECONOMICS: in The Principles of Finance, Business Professor Alex Edmans will give a primer on everything from how to save to risk management. A series by Visiting Professor Martin Daunton will look at Three Crises in Capitalism. See also Natural Capital series under Geography.

ENGLISH & MEDIAThe Powers of the Novel by Visiting Professor John Mullan will look at Plot, Coincidences and  Villains; Farah Karim-Cooperwill speak onShakespeare,Race and Performance, the series on How Not To be Human: Exploring Humanity Through Science Fiction will be delivered by Visiting Professor Jim Endersby. In our Media,Trust and Society series, Philip Howard will talk about fighting disinformation on Covid-19.

GEOGRAPHY: Professor Jacqueline McGlade’s series Natural Capital and the Wellbeing Economy will look at how our economy needs to change to guarantee a sustainable future for the planet. There is also a varied series on Natural World: Exploration, Extinction and Adaptation

HISTORY:  among the highlights are: The Hidden History of How Protestantism Went Global, by Professor Alec Ryrie, a series on Stuart Britain, a one-off lecture on Holocaust History Under Siege,  and a Black History Month series. We also have a thoughtful lecture by Ludmilla Jordanova on Portraits, Biographies and Public History. And a series on Music Under Stalin (see Music).

IT: Professor Richard Harvey’s Six Tech InventionsThat Changed the World will talk about IT breakthroughs everyone should know about, like GPS, Compression and Error Control Coding.

LAW / POLITICS / CITIZENSHIPRace, Colonialism and Power in the Legal System by Professor Leslie Thomas QC, will look at the Immigration Act 1971, the Brixton Riots, Judicial racism and more; The Misrule of Lawby Visiting Professor Thomas Grant QC looks at the misuse of law, for example under segregation in the US. Visiting Professor Imogen Goold will discuss Medical Law, including lectures on freezing eggs and fertility treatment. We have two lectures on Europe: Anand Menon on Brexit, and Patricia Clavin on Europe’s Search for Sustainable Security. Finally, the Media,Trust and Society series and the lecture, Does Philanthropy Do the Public Good? may be of interest to Citizenship teachers; along with a series on Religion and Society in the 21st Century.

MATHEMATICS: Gresham Professor Sarah Hart’s series Geometry: The Mathematics of Art will discuss beauty, perspective and more;  while Hugh Hunt will give a one-off talk on The Maths of Gyroscopes and Boomerangsand we have an event on Numbers in Different Languages and Cultures.

MEDICINE: Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Chris Whitty will look at Infections and their Routes of Transmission. We also have a new series of lectures on Neuroscience: The Brain and the Mind

MUSIC Professor Marina Frolova-Walker will give a series of lecture-recitals on Music Under Stalin. Visiting Professor Jeremy Summerly will give a series of lectures on Music and Emotion.

RELIGION Three lecturers will explore some current issues in major world religions in Religion and Society in the 21st Century;while our Divinity Professor will look at the work of Protestant missionaries in The Hidden History of How Protestantism Went Global


Recent highlights in our archive are a career-relevant series on Business Skills by Alex Edmans, which includes lectures on your CV, time management; a lecture by Jo Delahunty QC on How I Became A Barrister; a series on Major Debates in Public Health by Chris Whitty; two series by Sir Jonathan Bate on Classic Shakespeare and Wordsworth and the Romantics; a series on England’s Reformations by Alec Ryrie; we also have a strong series on the applications of Mathematics for example, in the film industry, the maths of climate change, by Chris Budd. We also have some brilliant lectures on Evil Women by historian Joanna Bourke and lectures on Great Thinkers by classicist Edith Hall.


In Sep 2021 we can offer free block School and College bookings for in-person lectures; email if you want to book, or to order free paper programmes for your school.

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