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Gresham College Lecture Series

Gresham College

At Gresham College (free lectures since 1597) we are continuing to deliver lectures online in January 2021, and among the highlights will be Professor Chris Whitty on Medical Screening and Professor Joanna Bourke on Amelia Dyer (part of her Evil Women series).

The Political Jury

This lecture by Thomas Grant QC will look whether the jury system is the bulwark of individual liberty? It will examine the role of the so-called “perverse jury” in acquitting defendants where the law, or the charge itself, is deemed unjust. But the jury can also be a bastion of prejudice: white juries habitually acquitted white defendants in the US in race violence cases. Does the jury system need improvement? Should its right to deliver a perverse verdict be curtailed?
Monday 11 January 2021, 6pm-7pm, Online, free (or watch later)

Screening: When Is It Useful, When Is It Not?

One of the most powerful tools in public health is screening – whether for cancers like cervical or breast cancer, genetic abnormalities, or infectious diseases. Screening can be transformational, detecting disease early and preventing it taking hold. It is, however, often useless and can be harmful, and its advantages are often exaggerated. This talk by Professor Chris Whitty will consider the situations where screening can help, where it does harm, and why these are usually predictable.
Wednesday 13 January 2021, 6pm-7pm, Online, free (or watch later)

Amelia Dyer: Baby Killers

Amelia Dyer was one of the most prolific murderers in Victorian Britain. She made a living as a “baby farmer”, or someone paid to care for unwanted or abandoned infants – except she killed around 400 of them. Professor Joanna Bourke asks, how could a mother and nurse murder so many defenceless babies? Was Dyer not only a baby-killer but also the real “Jack the Ripper” (as some sleuths have speculated)? Was she insane, or simply an “ogress” in feminine form?
Thursday 14 January 2021, 6pm-7pm, Online, free (or watch later)

Russian Piano Masterpieces: Scriabin

Scriabin was Rachmaninov’s classmate at the Moscow Conservatoire, and enjoyed comparable fame during his lifetime, and yet today he is much less known, especially outside Russia. He was inspired by Chopin to make bold experiments in his preludes, études and above all in his great series of ten sonatas, which span his career. Working within the loose artistic movement known as “Symbolism”, his ambitions were fuelled by theosophy and his own syncretism of mystical ideas. This lecture-recital is by Professor Marina Frolova-Walker and pianist Peter Donohoe.
Thursday 21 January 2021, 6pm-7pm, Online, free (or watch later)

You can see all of our January lectures on this link

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