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Lunch Hour Lectures

Lunch Hour Lectures are an opportunity for anyone to sample the exceptional research work taking place at UCL, in bite sized chunks. Speakers are drawn from across the university, and lectures frequently showcase new research and recent academic publications.

Lunch Hour Lectures take place 13:10 - 13:55, are free, and are open to anyone on a first-come, first-served basis.

All lectures are streamed live online and can be watched by clicking on the Watch Lunch Hour Lectures online link above. Lectures can also be watched from one week after the event on our YouTube channel where all lectures will be subtitled.

Thursday 23 November 2017

Opposites Attract – Facsimile cities: should architects now be making video game worlds?

13:10  — 13:55

For centuries, architects have dreamed up new cities and societies. Today, the widespread influence of contemporary video game technologies challenges the architect’s hold on speculative…

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Tuesday 28 November 2017

To Infinity and Beyond! Life in our solar system: redefining the habitable zone

13:10  — 13:55

Traditionally, the search for life beyond Earth has been in the ‘habitable zone’, where water may be, or may have been, present on a planetary surface. Professor Coates will examine…

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Thursday 30 November 2017

#trending – Language brokers, not stock brokers: young people as traders of culture

13:10  — 13:55

When young people migrate to a new country, they often learn the local language rapidly and inevitably begin to translate on behalf of their family. These ‘child language brokers’ translate…

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Tuesday 5 December 2017

Taboo – Lesbians as a metaphorical threat to the heteronormative national order? History of sexualities, politics and cinema under communism in Eastern Europe - Dr Urszula Chowaniec

13:10  — 13:55

Is there a history of lesbian life under communism? Following a screening of the 1982 film The Other Way, Dr Urszula Chowaniec will analyse the attitude to homosexuality in Eastern…

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Thursday 18 January 2018

Lunch Hour Lecture - A Renaissance theme park: the lost ‘garden of marvels’ at Pratolino

13:00  — 13:55

In the late 16th century, Grand Duke Francesco de Medici had a garden built in the hills near Florence to please his Venetian mistress Bianca Cappello. This park at Pratolino became…

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Thursday 25 January 2018

Lunch Hour Lecture - The rising culture of non-drinking: are we getting sick of being sick?

13:10  — 13:55

Adolescence is the time when children are likely to experiment with risky behaviours such as drinking alcohol. While around the age of 15 is the time when children are likely to engage…

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Thursday 1 February 2018

Lunch Hour Lecture - The cradle of humanity – why did the changing landscape of Africa make us so smart?

13:10  — 13:55

Humans are weak and have no natural weapons, but because we are super smart, we are the world’s top predator. But why did revolution favour the brainy ape? Mark Maslin investigates…

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Tuesday 6 February 2018

Lunch Hour Lecture - The passenger rail network: a public good or a profit maker?

13:10  — 13:55

The subject of many newspaper columns and supposed poster child of a success of private sector involvement in transport provision: Britain’s railways. Come find out more about the complex…

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Thursday 8 February 2018

Lunch Hour Lecture - Lesbian mothers and practices of conception in post-war Britain

13:10  — 13:55

This lecture will explore the history of lesbian motherhood in Britain 1945–1978 – a period when cultural attitudes largely assumed that it was impossible to be both a lesbian and a…

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Tuesday 20 February 2018

Lunch Hour Lecture - What happened to the hydrogen economy?

13:10  — 13:55

In the early noughties, the hydrogen economy was touted as the next energy global revolution. Then it disappeared from view. What happened? In this talk, we’ll explore how fuel cell…

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Thursday 22 February 2018

Lunch Hour Lecture - Understanding sleep and sleeplessness: can science and cultural history be used together?

13:10  — 13:55

Sleep is an enormous part of our lives: why do we do it? And why do we sometimes struggle to do so? Biology cannot fully explain our experience of sleep. Writers have always been fascinated…

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Tuesday 27 February 2018

Lunch Hour Lecture - What’s your bias? Psychological insights into political conflicts

13:10  — 13:55

This talk explores recent psychological research that offers some insight into why we disagree on topics such as inequality, nationalism and immigration. This research suggests that…

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Thursday 1 March 2018

Lunch Hour Lecture - The birds and the bees: animal sex in medieval art

13:10  — 13:55

“Birds do it, bees do it” goes the refrain of a popular song. But how different species ‘do it’ is left to the imagination. Taking in examples from illuminated manuscripts, Professor…

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Friday 9 March 2018

Lunch Hour Lecture - Tick-tock of the biological clock

13:10 

Globally, women are increasingly delaying the birth of their first child, as they lead very different lives to their mothers. But a woman’s fertility declines with age, significantly…

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Tuesday 13 March 2018

CANCELLED - Lunch Hour Lecture - Putting the doubt into science teaching

13:10  — 13:55

THIS LECTURE WILL BE RESCHEDULED FOR LATER IN THE YEAR. The process of science is beset on all sides by epistemic doubt i.e. how do we know that a result is right if we don’t already…

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Thursday 3 May 2018

Lunch Hour Lectures on Tour: The Unnatural Nature of Natural History Museums

13:00  — 14:00

Event Information: Natural history museums are magical places. They inspire awe and wonder in the natural world and help us understand our place within the animal kingdom. But they…

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Thursday 10 May 2018

Lunch Hour Lectures on Tour: The Value of Biodiversity; When a Frog and a Virus Went to War (and How the Battles Were Won and Lost)

12:30  — 14:00

Further information about the lectures: The Value of Biodiversity As biodiversity continues to decline globally, there is much debate about the strength of different arguments for…

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Thursday 17 May 2018

Lunch Hour Lectures on Tour - Is Man Just Another Animal?; Gibbonology: Why Study Southeast Asia’s Small Apes?

12:30  — 14:00

Is Man Just Another Animal? Homo sapiens shares much of his DNA with the animals in this zoo; with the chimpanzee sharing around 95% of our genes. In Darwin's day such physical similarity…

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Thursday 24 May 2018

Lunch Hour Lectures on Tour: Wasps - The Neglected Darlings of the Insect World; Conservation 4.0 – Will robots take your job?

12:30  — 14:00

Wasps: the Neglected Darlings of the Insect World Wasps are much more than the yellow and black striped pesky picnic-botherers. Wasps are one of the most diverse groups of insects;…

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Tuesday 2 October 2018

Lunch Hour Lecture: What is a Disaster?

13:10  — 13:55

About the lecture: An earthquake shatters Haiti and a hurricane slices through Texas. We hear that nature runs rampant, fighting to destroy us through these 'natural disasters'. Science…

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Tuesday 9 October 2018

Lunch Hour Lecture - Cosmic Dawn: The Quest for the First Galaxies

13:10  — 13:55

About the lecture: The first billion years after the Big Bang is widely regarded as the final observational frontier in assembling a complete picture of cosmic history. During this…

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Tuesday 16 October 2018

Lunch Hour Lecture: What’s Really Going On in Hillary Clinton’s Emails?

13:10  — 13:55

About the lecture: Since the US Government released Hillary Clinton’s emails to the public, there has been huge interest from journalists, politicians, and the general public, looking…

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Thursday 18 October 2018

Lunch Hour Lecture: On Data, Media, and Democracy

13:10  — 13:55

About the lecture: In this lecture Professor Lee Grieveson explores the ways in which digital media and new practices of data-mining and psychographic messaging were used in the 2016…

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Tuesday 23 October 2018

Lunch Hour Lecture: Free Movement, Open Borders and the Global Gains from Labor Mobility

13:10  — 13:55

About the lecture: What are the economic gains from free mobility of labor? Straightforward economic arguments point to the potential for large global output gains from movement of…

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Tuesday 30 October 2018

Lunch Hour Lecture: A Journey through the Cuban Economic Labyrinth

13:10  — 13:55

Ideological battles rage over Cuban economic performance: is it a basket case, proving the calamity of central planning, or a shining example of social progress made possible by rejection…

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