Talks & Courses

Maritime Lecture Series: Feeding the Georgian Navy: The work of agents victualler

Before and during the Napoleonic Wars, with a few exceptions, food for the navy was supplied via the Admiralty's Victualling Board.  Ships collected it from stores ashore all over the world run by men called Agents Victualler.  Their job often involved an amount of juggling with replacements for items that were in short supply.  But one of these agents, Richard Ford, was termed an Agent Victualler Afloat, and he sailed with Nelson's fleet in the Mediterranean, going ashore when necessary to find supplies.

Maritime Lecture Series: Putting the World on your Plate

What do ships have to do with food? Well, more than just naval rations. Throughout the Tudor and Stuart eras the ships of the British Isles explored the globe to bring back the exotics of the world to the plates of diners at home. Food Historian Marc Meltonville will take us through the tables of wealthy diners to examine the history of nutmeg, chocolate and even the fork in this comprehensive overview of how the changing face of the globe affected food, drink and dining.

Flamsteed Lecture: The Search for Life on Mars by Dr Peter Grindrod

In essence, studies of water and the habitability of Mars will drive and constrain the search for life in the coming decade and beyond. There is compelling evidence that the atmosphere and climate of Mars have affected the global distribution and chemistry of water, ultimately controlling the habitability of the planet. Martian stratigraphy provides a rich record of the paleoclimate and paleohydrology of the planet, revealing changes in the surface environment over a range of timescales. The current paradigm presents a Mars that has become less habitable with time.

Maritime Lecture Series: Sailing to an Island Feast

Journals of maritime exploration are full of food – worries about supplies, the endless quest for fresh provisions and finally the joy – and sometimes horror – of feasting on native food when ashore.  Among the most famous of these culinary encounters are the Pacific banquets of roast pig and tropical fruits, described by mariners like Cook and Vancouver, surviving today in the feast known as the Hawaiian luau. The mainstay of the modern tourist experience, the luau began as a sacred feast, surrounded by taboos and rituals, reserved for chiefs, priests and the gods.

Astronomy Day Course: Introduction to Astrobiology

Led by a Royal Observatory Greenwich astronomer, the course will cover the basics of astrobiology. It will explore what is life, what kick started it on Earth and whether life could thrive anywhere else in our Solar System. Participants will also discover how scientists can determine how habitable an exoplanet outside of our Solar System might be without having to visit these other worlds. The course will then conclude with how a detection of extra-terrestrial life could be made.

Astronomy Day Course: The Evolution and Fate of Stars

This course will begin with the basics of how a star functions, from its power source to its internal structure, and use simple physics to go from these on to how the entire life of a star progresses. It will explore the evolution of stars from their birth on to their sometimes spectacularly violent deaths and look at how star’s composition or the presence of nearby neighbours can greatly change a stars fate.

Maritime Lecture Series: British Seaside Postcards and Censorship

Are they full of outdated attitudes or just a harmless bit of fun? She tackles questions around censorship and audience, but above all, offers an examination of what makes these so uniquely part of the British seaside experience.

Katina Bill is the curator at Kirklees Museum and Galleries.

Maritime Lecture Series: The Great British Seaside

From the history of fish and chips to innuendo-ridden postcards, discover why the British seaside is the way it is with these expert lectures.


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