Talks & Courses

Maritime Lecture Series: The Changing Faces of the Seaside

This lecture by Daniel Burdsey explores how and why the English seaside is often mistakenly seen as a discrimination-free zone, ignoring the experiences of minority ethnic seaside communities – residents, tourists, revellers and workers.

Daniel Burdsey is a Reader at the University of Brighton. He is the author of Race, Place and the Seaside: Postcards from the Edge.

Maritime Lecture Series: England-on-Sea: Wish You Were Here

Travis Elborough traces the development of the British seaside in order to examine how our ideas about health, wealth and happiness evolved. Our aspirations and snobbery, our attitudes to sex, our keen sense of fair play, our chequered relationship with national pride and our ability to laugh at ourselves have all been played out against a backdrop of stormy skies, pebbly beaches and sticks of rock.

Maritime Lecture Series: The Origins and History of Fish and Chips

Sprinkled with salt and vinegar, fish and chips were the country’s original fast food. Fried fish was first introduced and sold by East End Jews, while chips may have first taken off in Lancashire and Yorkshire. By the twentieth century, when the dish reached the seaside, a variety of migrant communities such as Italians and Greek Cypriots were playing a leading role in the fish and chip trade. This lecture unwraps the history of the UK’s most popular takeaway, a story that brings up complicated issues of class and identity. 

Edmond Halley; astronomer, geophysicist, adventurer and Astronomer Royal

His career spanned celestial cartography, an Oxford Professorship, a daring explorer-captaincy in the Royal Navy, service as a diplomat, and Astronomer Royal.  Meteorology, geology, and the ancient, pre-human history of the earth were early subjects of original research for him.  And he possessed great charm, humour, and a love of fun. I suspect that he was excellent company as well.

Astrophotography Day Course

Led by an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, course participants will get all the information they need to get started shooting the night sky with a DSLR camera on tripod. This includes details of the type of kit required, how to plan the shoot with freely available software and apps, instructions on the methods for shooting, processing methods for the images to get the most out of them and finally going beyond the DSLR alone to combine with a telescope to capture more specific targets like the Moon, Sun and deep sky objects.

Spectral Power film screening

Artist Phil Coy presents a contemplative full-dome short film, born out of conversations with scientists from the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Alongside Royal Museums Greenwich astronomers and curators they will discuss the project across art and science. The event will include the use of the planetarium to show how our maps of the Universe can appear quite different when seen from afar as opposed to our Earthbound perspective. Various speakers will help couch the film piece in the context of finding new ways to interpret data by approaching it from different perspectives.

Flamsteed Lecture: The Volatile Universe

To the casual observer, the heavens may seem rather unchanging: the steady procession of the constellations as the Earth spins on its path around the Sun, punctuated by the wandering of the planets, the regular cycle of the Moon and the occasional spectacular appearance of a comet. To the more discerning observer though, the sky is far from steady. Indeed with the advantage of modern technology, the Universe is remarkably volatile. In this talk, Tim will discuss some current examples of how the Universe continues to surprise us on timescales ranging from years to fractions of a second.

Universe Unseen

After giving a short primer talk on each of their topics (including the hunt for dark matter, the detection of gravitational waves and using light our eyes can't detect to study galaxies), the panel will assemble to discuss how you can make the invisible, visible and what the challenges and rewards are in doing this. All in all there is definitely more to this event than meets the eye!

Age 14+

Speakers: Dr. Tessa Baker (University of Oxford), Joanna Ramasawmy (University of Hertfordshire), Prof. Jocelyn Monroe (Royal Holloway)

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