TOPICAL TALKS -
Details of future talks will be shown on the Home page.
Thursday Talks are part of the Friends' fund-raising activities.
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As supporters of the fund-raising work of the Friends, our speakers generously contribute to
our work by donating their services free of charge.
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PREVIOUS TOPICAL TALKS, 2015 - 2023
Thursday 2nd March
Former Reuters correspondent who reported from behind the Iron Curtain in the Cold War. He is the author of books on Germany, Eastern Europe and freedom.He is also Chairman of the Friends of Summertown Library.
Thursday 28th January
Schoolmaster, businessman, parliamentary candidate and multiple sports medal winner
"Lucky Hitler's Big Mistakes"
Thursday 6th December
A diplomatic wife
"Endangered Species: Diplomacy from the Passenger Seat"
Thursday 17th November
Who was Professor of International Relations
"The Butcher, The Tailor, The Picture-Frame Maker - Stories of Middle Way"
Thursday 27th October
Author and Journalist talked about
"Licoricia of Winchester - Power and Prejudice in Medieval England"
Wednesday 6th June
Historian and lecturer talked about
"882 A.D. - the Origin of Putin's Ukrainian War?"
Thursday 4th November on Zoom
former Reuters correspondent and author talked about
"Half a Century in Tuscany"
Thursday 13th May on Zoom
MAJOR NICOLA WETHERILL
expedition leader for 'Ice Maiden' talked about
"Expedition Ice Maiden: The First All-Female Team to cross Antarctica"
Thursday 15th April on Zoom
LORD JAY of EWELME
a career Diplomat talked about
"The House of Lords: Past, Present and...Future?"
Thursday 18th March on Zoom
Emeritus Professor of English Law talked about
"UK - EU Relations post-Brexit"
Thursday 18th February on Zoom
World-reknowned geneticist and cell-biologist talked about
"What is Life?"
Thursday 14th January on Zoom
Oxford Emeritus Professor of Politics, and advisor on the Soviet Union to Margaret Thatcher talked about "Gorbachev, Reagan, and Thatcher, and the End of the Cold War"
Thursday 10th December 2020 on Zoom
A features writer for The Spectator and The Telegraph. talked about "Bletchley Park - A Hothouse of Talents. What happened to those Codebreakers after the War?"
Thursday 13th February 2020
ROBIN WILSON -
An Emeritus Professor of Pure Mathematics at the Open University who has received many awards and prizes for the popularization and communication of mathematics and its history.
"Sir Isaac Newton - his life, labours and legacy"
Thursday 23rd January 2020
DAVID ROONEY -
An award-winning museum curator, writer and historian of time, cities, technology and engineering. As well as collaborating on museum exhibitions and displays, he has written books on timekeeping, mathematics and urban planning, and is currently writing a history of clocks and civilization.
"The History of Time"
Thursday 5th December 2019
PETER LANTOS -
Following his arrival in England in 1968, Peter established a highly successful career in London as a neuroscientist, specialising in diseases of the nervous system. A Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a Trustee of Alzheimer's Research UK he took up writing on his retirement.
"Parallel Lines" - a childhood journey to Belsen and life thereafter
Thursday 14th November 2019
PROFESSOR SIR ADAM ROBERTS -
holds a number of senior academic posts and his main interests are in the fields of international security, international organizations, and international law He has also worked extensively on the role of civil resistance against dictatorial regimes and foreign rule.
Civil Resistance - from Prague to Hong Kong
Thursday 17th October 2019
REBECCA ABRAMS -
an award-winning author, teacher and literary journalist
'The Jewish Journey' - told through 22 Objects from the Ashmolean Museum
Thursday 16th May,
MARCUS FERRAR - Marcus Ferrar is a former Reuters correspondent and author of books about Germany, Eastern Europe and freedom.
He is Chairman of Friends of Summertown Library.
Dresden: the destruction and renewal of a European jewel
Thursday 4th April,
HENRY MACRORY - Deputy and acting editor of The Sunday Express, political correspondent, and responsible for political communications in Downing Street under the Coalition Government
Ultimate Folly - The Rises and Falls of Whitaker Wright, Britain's most shameless swindler (and builder of the world's strangest folly!)
Thursday, 7th March
ALASTAIR LACK - After 26 years making TV and radio programmes for the BBC, mainly with the World Service, Alastair now works freelance in Oxford in journalism, tutoring and Oxford City guiding
Travels with Auntie - my Life with the BBC World Service
Thursday 14th February
BART VAN ES -Professor of English Literature at Oxford University and author
A Childhood in Hiding
Thursday 13 December 2018,
Sophie Hackford - Oxford based futurist and business builder
"Artificial Intelligence (‘AI’): Our Last Invention?"
Thursday 15 November 2018
Dr Rebecca Bowler, Oxford astronomer
The Universe: the First Billion Years
Thursday 11 October 2018
Deborah Gill, Professor of Gene Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital
What's new in gene medicine and gene therapy?
Thursday 17 May 2018
Professor Anand Menon
'Brexit - where have we got to, and where are we heading?'
Thursday 12 April 2018
'Economics: not dismal, and probably not a science'
Thursday 15 March 2018
'Britain: a democracy or an oligarchy?'
15 February 2018
Professor Carolyn Steedman
'Poetry for Historians: or, W.H. Auden and History'
23 November 2017
'Building a New Future for Food and Farming'
19 October 2017
Professor Dame Marina Warner
'Sanctuary: Can Stories give Shelter?'
15 June 2017
Professor Margaret MacMillan: 'The Meaning of the First World War'
4 May 2017
Professor Rana Mitter: 'China: Yesterday and Today'
16 March 2017
Sir Adam Roberts: 'In the Age of Brexit and Trump: a new
2 February 2017
Sir Muir Gray: ‘Beyond the NHS: knowing our way to good health’
17 November 2016
Dr Taj Hargey: ‘A House Divided: Rifts in Contemporary Islam’
13 October 2016
Sue Jones: 'Who loves Greece today?’
2 September 2016
Professor Archie Brown: ‘What’s so great about strong leaders?’
9 June 2016
Dr. Sudhir Hazareesingh: ‘Thinking about the World, French-style’
28 April 2016
Professor Eugene Rogan: ‘The Making and Unmaking
of the Modern Middle East’
24 March 2016
Lord Blair (Sir Ian Blair) : ‘The House of Lords:
continuity, abolition or reform?’
3 December 2015
Richard Davy: ‘Putin – What drives him?'