The Best Student Life. Bristol SU

The Best of Bristol lectures (BoBs) showcase the best of the University of Bristol’s lecturers. Chosen by students, for students, the series aims to inspire you to take an interest in subjects outside your main discipline, giving you an insight into the work that your lecturers do when they’re not lecturing you! We have so many amazing, inspirational lecturers here in Bristol, and we want to celebrate that!

You can watch previous BoB lectures here, and find out more about the lecture series here.


This Year's Series

How Just is the Global Response to Climate Change? - Alix Dietzel

March 4th, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm, The Great Hall, Wills Memorial Building 
Climate change is fundamentally an issue of justice. It will affect those who have done least to contribute to the problem - people living in the poorest regions of the world and people who are not yet born.

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Over the rainbow: a brief (social) history of queer resistance - Jamie Lawson

March 7th, 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm, Clifton Hill House, Lower Clifton Road,Bristol, BS8 1BX 

The second lecture in the Best of Bristol lecture series.

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Folding the Future: How Origami is Transforming Engineering - Mark Schenk

March 11 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm, The Great Hall, Wills Memorial Building 
Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, is finding surprising applications in science and engineering. No longer restricted to folding paper planes, engineers now use origami to create self-assembling robots, designer materials and large deployable structures in space.

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Café Cosmopolitanism in a Pre Starbucks Age: Paris Internationalism pre WW1 - Tricha Passes

March 14th, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm, The Great Hall, Wills Memorial Building 

The lecture will consider the importance of Café life as a meeting place for the exchange of art and ideas in early twentieth century Paris. Focusing on photographs and paintings that depict the cafe La Rotonde in pre First World War Paris, the paper will argue that café life continued to be integral to the exchange of artistic ideas as well as the cultural development of Paris.

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Can Mathematics Improve Your Baking? - Thomas Jordan

March 14th, 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm, Orchard Heights, 31 Frogmore Street, Bristol, BS1 5NA

Going way back, bakers have had to concoct various ways to efficiently mix dry fruit through dough so it is evenly distributed. How can we describe ‘even distribution’ mathematically and can we find a mathematical process which simulates the baker’s technique?

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Are drugs of abuse the solution to treating depression? - Prof. Emma Robinson

March 18th, 6:30 - 7:30 pm, The Great Hall, Wills Memorial Building 

Depression and anxiety are the most prevalent psychiatric disorders in modern society and yet treatments are still poorly understood and many patients fail to respond to current therapies. The first antidepressant drugs were developed in the 1950s but their discovery arose from serendipitous observations of drugs developed for other conditions. Psychopharmacology has sought to use these drugs to better understand the causes of mood disorders but progress with developing better treatments has been challenging. This lecture will discuss the history of antidepressants and how we have used these early treatments to better understand mood disorders and develop new drugs including the SSRIs, some of the most widely prescribed drugs used today. However, many patients still fail to respond to treatment. The final part of the lecture will consider new avenues of research and why drugs of abuse, such as ketamine and the psychedelics, are providing a new strategy for treating mood disorders.

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Alexander Hamilton and the development of the American single market - Gervas Huxley

March 19th, 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm, Priory Road Complex Lecture Theatre, 12 Priory Road 
The seventh lecture in the Best of Bristol lecture series.

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What is a sustainable future? - Chris WIllmore

March 20th, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm, Peel Lecture Theatre, School of Geographical Sciences
It’s easy to see sustainability as being about guilt, about stopping doing things. This lecture looks positively at sustainability and the future we want to inhabit. This is about what we want, not what we don’t want.

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Medieval Romance: Unexpected Journeys and Meetings - Bex Lyons

March 20th, 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm, Wills Hall Conference Centre
The experience of reading medieval – and indeed any – literature can open windows on to new worlds and novel encounters for the reader, with occasionally surprising consequences. This talk considers the ways in which reading medieval romance changed the life of a working class academic from a council estate, and presents some examples from medieval romance to show what this genre is capable of...

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Security Online: Defence Against the Dark Arts - David Bernhard

March 26th, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm, The Great Hall, Wills Memorial Building 
Barely a week goes by without another story in the news related to cybersecurity. Passwords are stolen, credit card details hacked, personal information leaked. Our own university is regularly a target for phishing attacks. Meanwhile the government has been making noises about ‘banning encryption’. In this talk we’ll have a look at some examples and try not to despair.

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