University puts fresh twist on Brunel anniversary
Press release issued: 27 October 2006
Immigration and diversity are the focus of three high-profile public lectures organised by the University of Bristol. A fourth lecture in the series looks at the meaning of Bristol's designation as a Science City.
The impact of immigration and diversity on the life and economy of the UK is the focus of three high-profile public lectures organised by the University of Bristol.
With an overall title of ‘Immigration, Diversity and Belonging’, the series features lectures by journalist and author Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (November 20), former CBI Director-General Sir Digby Jones (November 22) and Labour Peer Professor Lord Bhikhu Parekh (December 5).
The lectures are part of the university’s contribution to Brunel 200 – the celebrations marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of the great engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. He was the son of a French asylum-seeker who avoided the guillotine by fleeing to America and then to Britain.
A fourth lecture, by Professor Eric Thomas, the university’s Vice-Chancellor (December 4), also has a link to Brunel. Professor Thomas will reflect on the government’s recent designation of Bristol as one of the UK’s six Science Cities and will ask, ‘What would Brunel have thought?’
All four events are free of charge. They start at 6pm at the Wills Memorial Building at the top of Park Street and will be finished by 7pm. Anyone who would like to attend one or more of the lectures is advised to reserve a place in advance by telephoning 0117 928 8895 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professor Thomas said: “The public debate on immigration often seems to generate more heat than light. Given that Brunel was the son of an immigrant and that 2006 is his 200th anniversary, we felt this was a good time to invite prominent speakers to inject some fresh thinking into the topic.
“My own talk will complement theirs by focusing on what Bristol, the Science City, could become – a subject that I like to think would have intrigued Brunel.”