Joseph Banks Lecture Series

Essential information

Event type: 
Date and time: 
Wednesdays, 13 Sept – 4 Oct | 10.30-12.30
£8 per event | £6 Concessions and members
National Maritime Museum, Lecture Theatre

This lecture series aims to bring Joseph Banks to wider public understanding, in advance of the 250th anniversary of the Endeavour voyage in 1768 and the 200th anniversary of Banks’s death in 1820.

In a career spanning more than fifty years, Sir Joseph Banks (1743–1820) became one of the most influential figures in European science. Through his participation in James Cook’s first Pacific voyage (1768–71), Banks received much of the credit for descriptions of a ‘new’ and exotic oceanic world that fascinated Europe and which would come to influence the course of European and Pacific science, culture, politics and commerce.  After the voyage Banks spent the remainder of his career supporting expeditions and forging networks that spanned the Indian and Pacific Oceans, placing him at the heart of accelerating interactions between Pacific, Indian and European peoples.  He was President of the Royal Society from 1778 to 1820 and advised George III on the development of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

This lecture series has been organized by the Museum as part of an Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded Network project entitled ‘Joseph Banks, Science, Culture and the Remaking of the Indo-Pacific World’, which is research collaboration between Royal Museums Greenwich, University College London, National Portrait Gallery, Natural History Museum, the Royal Society and the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. For further information on the Joseph Banks Network project and other activities visit


13 September

Gillian Dooley, Flinders University, Australia

My Greatest and Best Friend: Flinders and Banks


20 September

Jordan Goodman, University College London

Joseph Banks: A Man for All Reasons – Plants, Projects and Friends, 1780–1820


27 September

Anna Johnston, University of Queensland

Banks’s Florilegeum: Art, Science, and Colonialism


4 October

Paul Scott, the Sir Joseph Banks Society

Agrarian to Industrialist – Joseph Banks and the ‘promotion and improvement of manufactures of this country’



10.30 Registration, tea & coffee

11.00 Start of Lecture

11.40 Coffee break

12.00-12.30 Questions


Location: The Lectures will take place in the Lecture Theatre (except for 27 September which is in the Seminar Room) at Royal Museums Greenwich. Please register under the Propeller from 10.30 for all lectures.

Full programme and abstracts available here