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Best of Bristol Lectures go digital as they return for a third series

The Victoria Rooms, where the Best of Bristol Lectures will take place

The Victoria Rooms, where the Best of Bristol Lectures will take place

Press release issued: 5 February 2013

The most inspiring lecturers at the University of Bristol, as voted by students, will be sharing their wisdom with the public in a series of free lunchtime lectures. It will be the third series of the Best of Bristol Lectures, which are organised by students to give fellow students, university staff and members of the public a chance to experience the best teaching Bristol University has to offer.

It will be the third series of the Best of Bristol Lectures, which are organised by students to give fellow students, university staff and members of the public a chance to experience the best teaching Bristol University has to offer.

The lectures will also be streamed live on the internet for the first time and six schools across the country are screening them to sixth form students so that they can experience what a university lecture might be like.

It’s the brainchild of Bristol University graduate Tom Corfield, who founded the Best of Bristol Lectures in 2011 and has since successfully rolled the Free Range University (Fruni) concept out to other universities across the country, enabling university teaching to be more widely enjoyed and accessed.

Students vote online for their favourite lecturer, or for other lecturers they would like to hear. Topics this year range from the economics of pension systems to the use of antibiotics.

The first of five 50 minute talks will take place in the Victoria Rooms on Thursday [7 February] when Professor Alan Champneys, Head of the Queen’s School of Engineering, looks at the surprising effects that nonlinear relationships have on the world around us.

Sophie Sladen, part of the team organising the lectures, said: “We are really excited to be launching the third series of the Best of Bristol lectures. Our continuing success demonstrates that there is a real thirst for initiatives that provide students, staff and the public with the opportunity to sample and celebrate the best teaching and fascinating research being undertaken at our university.

“It is encouraging to see students at other universities take the initiative to organise lecture series of their own, and we feel very proud that the Free Range University movement was born at Bristol."

The Best of Bristol Lectures have been confirmed as:

  • Thursday, 7 February – ‘Linearity breeds comtempt,’ Professor Alan Champneys, Engineering
  • Thursday, 21 February – ‘Inside the music of Hildegrade von Bingen,’ Dr Emma Hornby, Music
  • Thursday, 28 February – ‘No more drugs for Superbugs – the end of the antibiotic age?’ Dr Matthew Avison, Cellular and Molecular Medicine
  • Thursday, 7 March – ‘Pixels, patterns, phenotypes – computers for fingerprinting life,’ Dr Tilo Burghardt, Computer Science
  • Thursday, 14 March – ‘What is new in the pension ‘crisis’ and can economics help?’ Dr Edmund Cannon, Economics

The lectures are free and no booking is required. They are held in the Victoria Rooms, starting at 1.10pm and finishing at 2pm.

More than 2,000 people attended the first lecture series, which proved so popular that it won the 2011 University of Bristol Union’s 'Impact and Innovation Award’ for providing members of the University and wider community with the chance to experience some of the University’s great teaching.

For regular updates, including a full lecture schedule, titles and lecture summaries, please visit www.boblectures.org.uk.

For further information, please contact organiser Steve Ellis on steve@boblectures.org.uk.