The University of Lincoln welcomes high-profile individuals from all over the world to speak at our prestigious Great Minds public lecture series. Our students, staff and members of the public benefit from guest lectures by Visiting Professors and Lecturers recognised as leaders in their field, some of whom teach on our courses.
Lord Victor Adebowale
Lord Victor Adebowale CBE was installed as Chancellor of the University of Lincoln in December 2008, replacing Dame Elizabeth Esteve-Coll, who held the role for the previous seven years.
Lord Victor is Chief Executive of the leading social care organisation Turning Point, a post he has held since 2001, and is recognised as a leading voice for people affected by poverty, mental health issues, drugs, alcohol, learning disability and complex needs.
The Rt. Hon John Bercow MP
The Right Honourable John Bercow is the Member of Parliament for Buckingham and was elected as the 157th Speaker of the House of Commons on 22nd June 2009.
Mr Speaker has been involved in politics since the mid 80’s when he served as National Chairman of the Federation of Conservative Students before being made Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Collegiate Forum to head the campaign for student support in the run-up to the 1987 general election.
Jason Bradbury, technology expert and presenter of Channel 5’s The Gadget Show, is a Visiting Lecturer who teaches on the Product Design and Computer Science degrees. Jason lends his industry insight and experience to exciting project modules that provide industry-relevant challenges to students in their final year.
“I’m confident that the course modules I created with the academic team at the University of Lincoln will ignite the passion and ingenuity of the students. Having spent some time in the incredible facilities at Lincoln, I fully expect to see some truly innovative results.”
Dallas Campbell is a presenter, actor and writer. He was a presenter of BBC One’s popular science show, Bang Goes the Theory, for six series, also co-presenting The Gadget Show, where he raced jet-powered street luges, wrestled robot jellyfish, tested the latest in gadgets of all sorts, and broke the Scalextric land speed record.
He presented Tutankhamun: The Truth Uncovered on BBC One; a ground-breaking documentary where Dallas used new scientific research to explore the mysterious life and death of the boy king. He also co-hosted the hugely popular BBC One series, Treasure Hunters, and fronted his own three part series, Supersized Earth, in which he travelled the globe visiting some of the world’s largest and most ambitious engineering projects.
A prolific writer, Ann's books have been translated into 20 languages. She's a bestseller in the UK, Scandinavia and Germany, with her novels selling widely and to critical acclaim in the United States.
Two of Ann’s series of novels have been turned into major TV productions. Based on the Vera Stanhope novels, Vera has enjoyed five series on ITV, winning best drama in the regional Royal Television Society Awards in March 2014.
Steve Cram is British icon recognised as one of the finest athletes of his generation. He was a World, Olympic, European and Commonwealth medallist as well as a three-time world record holder during his illustrious athletic career. In 1983 Cram won Sports Personality of the Year and received his MBE in 1986.
Sporting legend, television presenter and motivational speaker Steve Cram was one of the first voices of the University of Lincoln’s Great Minds lecture series when he talked about the importance of preparation in 2012.
Professor Carl Djerassi
Professor Carl Djerassi was, first and foremost, a leading chemist who invented the contraceptive pill. He then became a renowned author and playwright in the field of science performance.
Professor Djerassi came to Lincoln to open his play Foreplay at the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre in April 2014 and gave a public lecture, entitled ‘The Demise of Contraception: Sex in an Age of Art’. This lecture, part of our prestigious Great Minds series, reviewed the enormous societal consequences that followed the introduction of the pill in the early 1960s.
Professor Djerassi sadly passed away in 2015.
Andrew Graham Dixon
Art critic, journalist and TV presenter, Andrew Graham-Dixon, has presented numerous landmark series on art for the BBC, including the acclaimed A History of British Art, Renaissance, and Art of Eternity, as well as individual documentaries on art and artists. For more than 20 years he has published a weekly column on art, first in the Independent and more recently in the Sunday Telegraph.
Andrew is also an author and lends his expert eye to public service in the field of the visual arts, having judged the Turner Prize, the BP National Portrait Prize and the Annual British Animation Awards. He has served on the Government Art Collection Committee, the Hayward Advisory Committee, and is currently a member of the board of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead.
Dame Carol Ann Duffy
Dame Carol Ann Duffy is the first woman to hold the post of Poet Laureate in its nearly 350-year history, and was appointed in 2009 for a ten-year fixed term. She is a Professor and the Creative Director of the Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University, and has written for both children and adults. Her poetry has received many awards, including the Signal Prize for Children’s Verse, the Whitbread, Forward and T. S. Eliot Prizes, and the Lannan and E. M. Forster Prize in America.
Dame Duffy visited the University to discuss poetry and give a reading as part of our Great Minds lecture series, she will return again in 2016 for the 2016/16 series of Great Minds lectures.
Jonathan Foyle is an architect and art historian and holds a doctorate in Archaeology. He developed a practical knowledge of historical monuments while working at Canterbury Cathedral, Hampton Court Palace and Kew Palace, where he worked with Crick Smith, the University’s historic materials consultancy service.
He is perhaps best known for his presenting work, including the award-winning BBC series Climbing Great Buildings. He writes regularly for the Financial Times and is author of two books: Architecture of Canterbury Cathedral and Lincoln Cathedral: The Biography of a Great Building. Jonathan is a Visiting Professor of Conservation at the University of Lincoln.
Baroness Susan Greenfield
Baroness Susan Greenfield is a leading neuroscientist and writer and currently holds a Senior Research Fellowship at Oxford’s Lincoln College. She previously served as Director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, a post held jointly with her chair in Oxford, and is the founder, CEO and CSO of biotech company Neuro-Bio that is developing an anti-Alzheimer drug based on her research exploring novel brain mechanisms linked to neurodegeneration.
Baroness Greenfield’s first lecture at the University as part of the Great Minds series examined how and why we respond to the different technologies we use in everyday life.
Sir John Hurt
Sir John Hurt is a BAFTA and Golden Globe award-winning actor. With a career spanning six decades, Hurt has appeared in more than 100 films including The Elephant Man; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy; and the Harry Potter series of films.
Educated in Lincoln and Grimsby, Hurt became Honorary Doctor of Arts at the University of Lincoln in 2014, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to television, film and theatre. In 2013, he delivered a lecture as part of the University’s Great Minds series, where he talked about his life, career and upbringing in Lincolnshire.
In her current role Abbie coordinates a team of specialists that are working on developing a rover structure that will survive the rigours of a rocket launch, descent through Mars’ atmosphere, landing on its surface and lasting the operational lifetime of the mission.
Inspired by the Beagle 2 and ExoMars Rover bid while she was at school, Abbie graduated with a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Surrey and went on to work for Airbus Defence and Space.
Bridget Kendall is an award-winning journalist who began her career at BBC World Service before joining BBC Two’s Newsnight and then working as producer, editor and presenter on a range of current affairs programmes. She was made an MBE in the 1994 New Year’s Honours list.
Bridget has interviewed several world leaders, including President Putin live from the Kremlin. She is currently a Visiting Professor of Journalism at the University of Lincoln, sharing her vast knowledge and experience of working across social, cultural and national divides with journalism students looking to follow in her footsteps.
Baroness Helena Kennedy QC
Baroness Helena Kennedy is a leading barrister and Queen’s Counsel, and is an expert in human rights law, civil liberties and constitutional issues. She is a member of the House of Lords and Chair of Justice - the British arm of the International Commission of Jurists. She was a member of the Women’s Legal Defence Fund which helps women take sex discrimination cases to court and her book, Eve was Framed, is an impassioned call for reform in the way the British legal system treats women.
In 2014 she delivered a talk at the University of Lincoln on the relevance of Manga Carta on modern society.
Squadron Leader David Montenegro
David Montenegro was selected to join the Red Arrows in 2009 and his first three years with the team culminated in the role of Red 6 and Synchro Leader – flying one of the pair of aircraft which perform dynamic passes and well-known manoeuvres such as ‘the Heart’. Following several tours of duty in the RAF, Montenegro was selected as the RAF Red Arrows Team Leader (Red 1) in 2014.
Montengro delivered a guest lecture as part of our Great Minds lecture series entitled ‘Teamwork Leadership and Trust – How and Why the Red Arrows Display on a Global Scale’.
Naturalist and TV presenter Chris Packham delivered a Great Minds lecture in 2014 and was appointed Visiting Professor at the University of Lincoln in 2015. His passion, knowledge and vast experience benefits undergraduates on the Zoology, Biology, Biomedical Science, Bioveterinary Science and Animal Behaviour and Welfare courses he teaches on.
“If you really care for a subject you should teach it, and I am delighted to share my passion for wildlife and my experiences of some of the most urgent conservation issues we face. I am envious of the students at Lincoln, who are embarking on that journey of discovery.”
Nicholas Parsons, Honorary Doctor of Arts at the University of Lincoln and long-standing host of the popular Radio Four show Just A Minute, regularly visits the University to give public lectures on the arts.
His inaugural lecture was entitled ‘The English Language and the Spoken Word’ as part of the University's Great Minds series.
“The English language is one of the richest and most colourful in the world, having been derived from many sources. In this country you can travel 100 miles and find people using our language in quite a different way.”
Professor Lord Martin Rees
Professor Martin Rees, Baron of Ludlow, is a British cosmologist and astrophysicist. Professor Ludlow has been Astronomer Royal of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich since 1995 and throughout his career he has held prestigious positions as Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, and President of the Royal Society. He has written books on astronomy and science for the lay person and delivers popular public lectures and broadcasts.
As part of the University’s Great Minds lecture series, Sir Martin Rees delivered a presentation on astronomy entitled ‘Space Exploration, Life and the Cosmos’.
Dame Fiona Reynolds
Dame Fiona has held a number of senior positions in a variety of organisations.
Currently Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Dame Fiona was Director-General at the National Trust from 2001 to 2012. During her tenure membership of the charity, which looks after 612,000 acres (2,480 km2) of land in the United Kingdom, grew from 2.7 to 4 million people. She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2008 New Year Honours for "services to heritage and conservation".
Internationally-respected newsreader Angela Rippon became the BBC’s first regular female newsreader in 1976 and was awarded an OBE for her services to broadcasting in 2004. She has since presented a range of television programmes, including Top Gear, Come Dancing, Cash in the Attic, Amazing Greys and Rip Off Britain, as well presenting on radio and authoring 14 books.
She was appointed Visiting Professor of Consumer Journalism at the University of Lincoln in 2010. Her vast experience in the industry benefits our students on journalism programmes.
Professor Lord Robert Winston
Professor Lord Robert Winston is a doctor, scientist, television presenter and politician who sits on the Labour Party benches in the House of Lords. He has been associated with the University of Lincoln on a number of occasions and in 2007 delivered its Munton Medallion lecture. In 2012, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University.
An award-winning host of the successful television series The Human Body and Child of our Time, Winston’s inaugural lecture at the University of Lincoln focused on the topical issue of trusting the ethics of scientists.
Our Great Minds lectures and Visiting Professors provide our students, school children, staff and members of the public with inspirational insights into a range of different careers, industries and disciplines. We arrange talks, lectures and events throughout the year.
Please visit our events page for details and information on booking a place.